By Kaleb Nghishidivali
Adidis Ababa, 18 August – Namibia’s Minister of Environment, Tourism, and Forestry, Pohamba Shifeta, asserted the need for global unity to combat the challenges posed by drought. Speaking at the African Ministerial Conference on Environment (AMCEN), Shifeta highlighted the interconnectedness of drought, land degradation, and desertification, particularly affecting African nations.
Minister Shifeta stressed the severe repercussions of drought, including loss of human lives, food insecurity, water scarcity, environmental degradation, poverty, and social instability. He underscored the economic losses experienced across various sectors like agriculture, animal husbandry, fisheries, energy production, and tourism.
Namibia advocated for the creation of a legally binding instrument on drought within the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). This would amplify attention and financial allocation to address drought as an independent issue. Shifeta expressed hope that this initiative would establish a comprehensive policy instrument and regional frameworks to proactively manage drought, shifting from reactive approaches.
Despite facing lower rainfall this year, Namibia remains committed to enhancing resilience against drought. The country continues to uphold the objectives of the Windhoek Declaration for Enhancing Resilience to Drought in Africa, a UN General Assembly document. Shifeta urged the development of effective drought management policies, proactive preparedness strategies, and the establishment of resilience against the recurring threat of drought.
Romeo Muyunda, the Ministry’s Public Relations officer, assured that the nation’s wildlife parks are managing well despite the reduced rainfall. He expressed confidence that the current vegetation will sustain the wildlife until the next rainy season, emphasizing the importance of preparedness to mitigate drought’s impact. – Namibia Daily News