In efforts to build/enhance the resilience of the livelihoods to threats and crises posed by the recurrent nature of natural disasters in the Kunene Region, the FAO over the years assisted the GRN with the provision of crop seeds and animal feed, to mitigate the drought effects on pastoral and agro pastoral communities in these areas. Since the assistance, the MAWF has made tremendous strides in implementing emergency response and drought resilience programmes.
The projects which have been implemented over the last three years are meant to avert the effects of climate change and natural calamities including drought and floods with the former being more dominant in the Kunene Region.
According to MAWF Senior Agriculture Technician at Otjisoko headquarters in Kunene, Eugene Simwanza in an interview in October 2017, most of the farmers in the Opuwo area who have been introduced to horticulture production to aid with the effects of drought through the FAO project have adopted the new farming methods as a way of survival.
“Beneficiaries of the project were assisted with seedlings, irrigation pipes and water tanks which the ministry distributed.
The beneficiaries were selected based on their commitment to the project as well as availability of ground water sources.
Obviously we had to look at the commitment because community gardening is an activity that takes at least 80 percent of your time,” Simwanza said.
According to Simwanza beneficiaries were also assisted with technical know how on the latest farming methods.
Being one of the marginalized regions in the country, the projects have also reduced the semi-nomadic lifestyle adopted by the bulk of farmers in the area who for a long time focused their efforts on mainly animal husbandry.
Most of the residents of Kunene Region rely heavily on animal husbandry but the MAWF and the FAO came up with the project to encourage villagers to take up community gardening as a way of sustenance.
The gardening projects were successful as they capitilized the ground water that was available in the Kunene region.
He said, “If I can give an overview of the success rate of the projects to date I would say it was highly successful.
Most of the farmers have adopted the techniques and are now experts in the production of cabbages, onions, carrots and pepper. – FAO Namibia