Namibia’s intention to restore its valuable rangelands

Photo credit:  New Era


Restoring rangelands: A Namibian dream to come true

Namibia’s intention to restore its valuable rangelands at a whopping cost of some N$30 billion over the next 20 years is regarded by many observers as a groundbreaking project, which has earned the respect of role players at international podiums.

It is also viewed as an example of a government committed to the rehabilitation of degraded land and water bodies – to be at declining rates of degradation by 2030.

Chief rangeland researcher of the Namibia Rangeland Management Policy and Strategy (NRMPS), Leon Lubbe, updated attendants on the project at the recently held NNFU’s Leadership Seminar in Otjiwarongo.

He said the project was implemented in 2012 and is committed to the promotion and maintenance of the welfare of the people by adopting policies aimed at maintaining ecosystems, essential ecological processes and biological diversity, and utilizing living natural resources on a sustainable basis for the benefit of all Namibians, according to Act 95 (1) of the constitution.

Some 70 percent of the population is dependent on its rangelands for their well-being. The current poor state of Namibia’s rangelands is due to soil erosion, overgrazing, bush encroachment and a drastic decline of carrying capacity of the land.

This situation negatively Influences the livelihoods of a large portion of the Namibian nation, profitability of livestock farming and the whole economy in general (a possible N$1.4 billion/annum is lost).

It is expected that there will be a 30 percent drop in the production of course grains by 2030 in southern Africa and this highlights the important role of livestock in future.

Lubbe highlighted that measurements need to be taken to achieve the goals of the project, saying all the guiding principles of sound rangeland management will have to be implemented to secure success.

Read the full article: New Era

Desertification in Kunene, Namibia

Photo credit: Republikein

From the left: left: Mr. Josephat Kauta, FNB Opuwo branch manager and Mr. Joe Shivute, FNB Regional Manager at the recent conference held in Opuwo. Photo Contributed

FNB is combatting desertification in Kunene region

The FNB Foundation has approved a sponsorship of N$125.000 per year for three years to address the symptoms of desertification in the Kunene Region. To officially kickstart the project more than 60 delegates met at the Youth Centre hall in Opuwo on Tuesday, 14 April 2015 to discuss why the northern Kunene Region is ‘desertifying’ and what can be done about it. This project has been implemented by Dr. Axel Rothauge, from AgriConsult Namibia and more funding has been received by the European Union.

In his address at the conference FNB Area Manager North-West, Mr Shivute, explained that 168 countries in the world were affected by desertification which in Africa alone has wiped out 4% to 12% of agricultural GDP due to deteriorating environmental conditions. He added: “Every year, an area equivalent in size to three Switzerlands is lost worldwide to desertification. FNB has therefore introduced a number of green technologies to its banking services, amongst others paperless ATM transactions to save trees.” FNB Namibia is furthermore the forerunner in terms of certified green buildings as their new, green Head Office in Windhoek is nearing completion.

Read the full article: De Republikein

Distributing food to drought-hit households

Photo credit: New Era

Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Nangula Mbako

Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Andrew Nehemiah

Namibia: 417 944 Receive Drought Food


The Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Nangula Mbako, last Friday announced that the government is busy distributing food to drought-hit households.

She said the distribution of drought relief food is taking place through the Disaster Risk Management Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister.

Mbako said these mitigation measures are being carried out to alleviate drought in the country after Cabinet authorised the implementation of an interim drought relief programme.

She said the measures are being implemented while the government awaits the outcome of the post-harvest crop and vulnerability assessment report planned for May to June this year.

“The assessment will determine the impact of drought on food production, livelihood and the number of people affected. The Office of the Prime Minister is currently distributing food aid donated by the Federal Republic of Nigeria consisting of 300 metric tons of rice divided into 25 kg bags, 700 metric tons of maize grain and three metric tons of fish powder,” she said.

Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Andrew Nehemiah, in his response to the situation on the ground told reporters the drought in Namibia is described as serious and has affected grazing in large parts of the country.

“The country’s northern regions have been hit by a severe shortage in crop production. The whole country looks bad. We had poor germination, wilted crops in the maize triangle and the situation looks terrible,” he said.

Read the full article: allAfrica

Desertification in Namibia


Kunene could turn into desert

WINDHOEK – Strategies should be implemented sooner rather than later as by 2020 drought-hit Kunene could become an inhabitable and barren piece of land.

Epupa Falls on the Kunene River. (Image credit: 4eva africa on Flickr) -
Epupa Falls on the Kunene River. (Image credit: 4eva africa on Flickr) –×199.jpg

The year 2020 has been set as the National Action Programme (NAP3) to implement the United Nations’ Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).

This stern warning was issued last week by Dr Axel Routhage, an internationally renowned Namibian expert on desertification and the owner of AgriConsult, when he addressed the first-ever Kunene desertification meeting that was held at Opuwo last week.

The Kunene Region, Namibia -
The Kunene Region, Namibia –

The Kunene Desertification Indaba (KDI) was called by the Kunene Regional Council (KRC), initiated by the outgoing Governor of the Kunene Region Joshua //Hoebeb, and it was supported by the new governor, Angelika Muharukua.

The Kunene region encompasses the far northwest of Namibia - certainly one of the least accessible and seldom visited areas of Namibia -
The Kunene region encompasses the far northwest of Namibia – certainly one of the least accessible and seldom visited areas of Namibia –

More than 60 delegates met at the Youth Centre hall in Opuwo last week to discuss why the northern Kunene Region is desertifying and what could be done to mitigate the desertification.

Desertification is the depletion of ecosystem services due to the degradation of natural resources, for example, declining grazing capacity, receding groundwater reserves and soil loss due to erosion.

Chiefs, headmen, senior tribal elders and advisors, local and regional officials and scientific experts were in attendance.
Representative of the Environmental Commissioner, Moses Moses pointed out that it is the Namibians’ constitutional obligation under Article 95 (l) of the Constitution to maintain ecosystems, essential ecological processes and biodiversity in Namibia and to utilise natural resources sustainably for the benefit of all present and future Namibians.

Methods to combat desertification are detailed in Namibia’s NAP3 to implement UNCCD.
Given this legal and institutional framework, the Indaba brainstormed the causes of desertification in northern Kunene.

Well-known causes such as over-utilisation of the rangeland because of high concentration of livestock, as well as continuous grazing and trampling by livestock were cited. Drilling boreholes in remote areas that encourages permanent settlement and over-utilisation of the area, cutting of trees and incorrect ploughing techniques were also highlighted as common causes of desertification in the region.

Chairperson of the KRC, Dudu Murorua explained that desertification is such a serious problem that its containment exceeds the ability of individuals and communities.

Read the full article: New Era

See also: Renewbl

Enhancing resilience to drought events

Photo credit: New Era

Namibia to Host Drought Conference


Namibia will host another first for the country when it facilitates the Ministry of Environment and Tourism’s African Drought Conference under the theme: “Enhancing resilience to drought events on the African continent” at a local hotel from May 11 to 15, 2015.

Africa is highly vulnerable to drought events with about a third of the population living in drought-prone areas and 97 percent of agriculture being rain-fed.

Drought has devastating economic, environment and social impacts in terms of loss of human life, food insecurity, reduced agricultural productivity, and degradation of natural resources. Namibia is the driest country south of the Sahara and is currently suffering the effects of another drought.

The majority of African countries continue to be inadequately prepared to cope with droughts, which are set to become more frequent with climate change.

Only a few countries in the world have fully-fledged drought management policies, while interventions in most countries tend to focus on reacting after the event rather than mitigating the impacts of drought through enhancing preparedness over the long term.


The overall objective of the conference would be to develop an overarching strategic framework for Africa to enhance its resilience to the impact of drought events. The specific objectives of the conference would be to:

  • Focus regional and international attention on the issue of drought mitigation;
  • Identify needs and shortcomings as well as good practices in the area of drought mitigation;
  • Move towards a framework for enhance resilience to drought impacts on the African continent; and
  • Strengthen partnerships and cooperation for enhanced drought resilience.

Read the full article: New Era

See also: This Day Live


Insufficient water and earth dams dried up in Kunene, Namibia

Photo credit: Google

The Kunene Region, Namibia

The Kunene Region, Namibia –

Namibia: Drought Takes Heavy Toll On Kunene

Communal farmers in Kunene Region have described this year’s drought as critical as many areas received below average rainfall from the onset of the 2014 to 2015 rainy season.

Euphorbia cacti in the Kunene region, one of the last true wildernesses in Africa. © Anand Mishra/TNC -
Euphorbia cacti in the Kunene region, one of the last true wildernesses in Africa. © Anand Mishra/TNC –

Farmers held a meeting in Opuwo on Wednesday with senior agricultural technicians tasked with conducting the drought assessment report for 2015 to gauge the magnitude of the drought.

The Kunene Region, Namibia - -
The Kunene Region, Namibia – http://www.naturalhighsafaris.com

The assessment mainly looked at the impact of the drought on crop and livestock production and the livelihood of communal farmers.

The consultation took place with different stakeholders, traditional authorities and farmers.

The assessment report revealed 90 percent of crop farmers depend on buying maize meal from local retailers but prices are reportedly high.


The assessment further revealed that most areas have insufficient water and earth dams have dried up.

“The water flow of natural water fountains has decreased. The situation has compelled livestock and wild animals to share water at boreholes. As most farmers migrated to cattle posts where grazing is believed to be better, boreholes at cattle posts are often broken,” revealed the assessment.

Read the full article: allAfrica

Illegal harvesting of forest products in Namibia

Photo credit: Pixabay

Quiver tree forest in Namibia – Kokerboom Woud – Aloe dicotoma

Namibia: Illegal Harvesting of Forest High

ILLEGAL harvesting and transporting of forest products is continuing with more than two hundred fines issued during the 2012/13 and 2013/14 financial years, despite several intensified patrols and awareness campaigns conducted in the country.

Deadvlei Forest, Namibia -
Deadvlei Forest, Namibia –

The annual report of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry for the period 2013/14 that was tabled in parliament last month raised the concern that a total of 110 fines were issued to persons illegally transporting or harvesting forest products.

Moringa forest in Namibia -
Moringa forest in Namibia –

A total of 122 fines were issued to persons illegally transporting or harvesting forest products during the 2012/13 financial year.

The Damaraland, home of the Damara people, who live in this desolate and rugged terrain, hosts some of nature's wonders. The Petrified Forest -
The Damaraland, home of the Damara people, who live in this desolate and rugged terrain, hosts some of nature’s wonders. The Petrified Forest –

“Illegal harvesting and transporting of forest products is still high. Several meetings were held to discuss procedures on how to obtain permits. Despite the intensification of patrols and awareness campaigns, illegal harvesting and logging of trees in the forests remain a challenge in the country,” it cautioned.

Read the full article: allAfrica



Small scale farmers to feed at least their own hungry mouths in Namibia

Photo credit: allAfrica

Farmers in Namibia

Namibia: Drought Forces Farmers Back to the Drawing Board

It’s back to the drawing board for communal farmers in light of the potentially devastating drought knocking on the doors of each and every household in the North-Central areas of Namibia.

Farmers in Namibia will be able to export more than five stud animals a year following the lifting of restrictions on exports. (Image source: donkeycart) -
Farmers in Namibia will be able to export more than five stud animals a year following the lifting of restrictions on exports. (Image source: donkeycart) –

Proposing a new and enlightened way of thinking, national coordinator of the Namibia National Farmers Union (NNFU) in Oshakati, Robert Tobias, says there is one small window standing open for communal farmers in what could turn out to be the toughest year in decades. “We have to start planning for these reoccurring situations in our own backyard gardens where we as small scale crop producers are capably of feeding at least our own hungry mouths.

Traditionally, crop fields and gardens are the sole property of the owner, unlike livestock grazing which is shared by all and sundry. “One way of working our way out of tight spots like we are experiencing now is to start growing fodder on parts them and expand the fields. These pastures should be grazed until March and then be closed to grow them and make hay that can be stored for dry times like now. The grass and the grain part of these fields should be rotated regularly as grass pastures improve soil fertility and enhance subsequent grain yields,” he advises as he stresses the importance of proper management skills that needed to be taught to the NNFU’s some 3 000 members in the area.

Read the full article: allAfrica

Facing starvation in Namibia

Photo credit : Google

Maize in Namibia

Namibia: Thousands of Farmers Face Starvation


A desperate plea for immediate government assistance has rung out from the scorched and wilted maize and mahangu fields north of Oshivelo in the Otjikoto Region.

Mahangu or pearl millet -
Mahangu or pearl millet –×1280/29199/Ongula-Village-Homestead-Resdest-Namibia-North-Owamboland-Mahangu-Village.People41.jpg

Food insecurity and subsequent starvation could threaten the livelihoods of thousands of farmers and their families.


Read the full article: allAfrica

Devastating drought in Namibia

Photo credit: Pixabay

Drought in Namibia

Namibia: Nation Facing Severe Drought – NAU

The Namibian (Windhoek)

NAMIBIA is facing another severe drought in less than two years, according to the Namibia Agriculture Union.

Speaking to Nampa on Tuesday, NAU executive manager Sakkie Coetzee raised the alarm that Namibia will no more experience a ‘looming drought’ as speculated at the end of last year, but that “the situation is very serious now”.

Cheetah in Namibia -
Cheetah in Namibia –

“Yes, we are now facing a drought, probably the worst since 2013. A lot of farmers are still recovering from that drought. The growing period for grass for the animals to feed on is getting shorter and the cold will start at the beginning of May,” he noted.

The rainy season thus far has not brought much rain, according to Coetzee. He emphasised that it does not just take one year for farmers to recover from a drought situation, but that it could take up to two or three years.

Namibian farmers will remember the year 2013 as one of the toughest and most challenging periods in 30 years due to the devastating drought, which threatened the agricultural sector and the country’s food security.

Read the full article: allAfrica


Looming drought in Namibia

Photo credit: Pixabay

The Veld in Namibia

Namibia: Cabinet Awaits Briefing On Drought

New Era (Windhoek)


The National Early Warning and Food Information Unit in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry is expected to brief Cabinet next week on the looming drought in the country.

Namibia is bracing itself for a possible crisis worse than the drought experienced in 2013 as rains continue to stay away.

The situation – wherein only some five percent of all producers have received normal rainfall – has forced the livestock industry to schedule a meeting urgently in Windhoek this Friday to decide on a drought strategy, while the crop farming industry already announced an expected dismal total harvest in both the commercial and communal areas during a similar meeting two weeks ago.

At the same time, the water levels in all the major dams in the country are dropping at an alarming rate and Windhoek as the commercial hub could soon face water restrictions.

The Windhoek Municipality has again reminded the capital’s approximately 330 000 residents of the serious implications of wasting water in the absence of rain, as water levels in the city’s major supply dams decline daily, now reaching worryingly low levels and in some cases, even lower than in 2013.

Read the full article: allAfrica

A global agreement on controlling land degradation by 2015 ?

Photo credit: Google

Namibia Africa National Park High Resolution Images

UN targets global land degradation deal in 2015

Last updated on 15 September 2013

By Ed King

UNCCD chief Luc Gnacadja says land degradation is now a “critical” issue with huge economic and social implications. The head of the UN’s desertification convention wants a global agreement on controlling land degradation to be signed off by 2015. 


An economic assessment published by the UN in April revealed 12 million hectares of land are transformed into man made deserts on an annual basis, with associated costs of US$490 billion a year.

Speaking ahead of a two week summit in Windhoek, Namibia, the head of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) Luc Gnacadja said countries needed to accept the urgency of the situation.

“This is going to be critical if the world is going to face the challenge of feeding nine billion people and even more by 2050,” he told RTCC.

“We need to preserve the resource base of food production, and if we are to feed a thirsty world, where there is a need for more water, we need to avoid land degradation, which is the driver of loss of surface water.”

Effective options

An enduring frustration for many scientists and policymakers is that solutions are relatively simple and accessible.

The rehabilitation of Jordan’s rangelands and success of agroforestry in Niger are two commonly cited examples of successful attempts to reverse degradation.

“Quite a lot of degradation comes from farming practices considered to be the best option economically but actually are not – not even in the short term,” says Davies.

Lindsay Stringer, Director of the Sustainability Research Institute at the University of Leeds, says a bigger problem is our lack of understanding why advice is often ignored.

“It’s easy to say plough across the slopes rather than down the slopes or leave fields fallow, but people don’t. And we need to understand why that is,” she said. “It’s more the human behaviour and farmer decision making side of things that we don’t understand.”

Rather than another set of targets, she wants to see the UN outline a trajectory for how it can address degradation in the coming decades, with an added focus on providing local communities with solutions.

– See more at:



%d bloggers like this: