By Simon Liseli
NAMIBIA Red Cross Society (NRCS) has extremely responded to severe drought that continue to hit the country by supporting vulnerable communities with cash transfers in the Sibbinda Constituency to save their lives.
In preserving the environment and protecting properties with livelihood, NRCS takes its mandate seriously in responding to the disaster in the country with an excellent record in implementing mitigation and adaptation interventions as part of their risk mitigation livelihood and food security core focus areas to strengthen the resilience of vulnerable communities in adapting and mitigating major impacts caused by erratic rainfall and climate change.
In his keynote address on the mini launch of Cash Transfer Program (CTP), Special Advisor to the Zambezi Governor Mr. Ignatius Nkunga cited on the call by the Namibian President Dr.Hage Geingob who declared state of emergency in view of severe drought in the country.
In response, the Namibia Red Cross Society took an initiative to support poor communities in Sibbinda Constituency with implementing Cash Transfer Program (CTP).
About One Thousand Two-Hundred and Eleven (1211) households in the Constituency are benefiting from the program that will run for three months starting from September to December this year.
CTP center is geared to improve food security and agricultural productivity. Adverse weather conditions compounded by climate change present an agricultural sustainability challenge that requires proactive strategies to boost climate resilience and crop adaptation.
CTP is one of the main strategies to address hunger in rural households that are exposed to the immediate risk of starvation. “As you know there is a devastating drought that is gripping many parts of the country” said Mr. Nkunga.
He commended Namibians who have already joined hands by making monetary and in-kind donations through the Office of the Prime Minister.
Nkunga calls on others to follow suit in assisting the vulnerable. He however said that challenges should be seen as opportunities for growth not limitation.
“Cash Transfer Program can already be seen by secondary impact it has on the villages” he concluded.
Mr. Innocent Mahoto, Regional Chairperson for Namibia Red Cross Society (NRCS) in Zambezi Region said NRCS being one of the main responder during disaster has over the years responded to floods, drought and disease outbreak emergency.
He noted that Namibia is considered to be highly vulnerable to the impact of climate change due to its geographical conditions that the country is facing.
“The impact of climate change brings with it the threat of food insecurity, starvation and malnutrition” he stressed.
The Namibia Red Cross Society in partnership with the Spanish and British Red Cross decided to create and implement cash transfer program to support about 500 – 800 households over a period of four months.
According to him, the project aims at improving the livelihoods of those affected by providing drought resisting seeds and training for conservation farming practices.
The Regional Chairperson acknowledged the central government through the Office of the Prime Minister, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Finance particularly Financial Literacy Initiative, Zambezi Regional Council, Sibbinda Constituency and Namibia Post (NAMPOST) for providing free services for the distribution of cash.
“The community-based approach of the NRCS have been crucial to positively make an impact on the lives of the most vulnerable communities in Zambezi Region and am calling on the government and private sector to use this foundation to consider cash transfer as an option in emergency response” Mahoto lamented.