Geingob hails grants secured by EIF for climate change

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By Sharon Kavhu

Windhoek - Namibian President and Chairperson of the Southern African Development Community, Hage Geingob, has hailed the N$85 million grants secured by the Environmental Investment Fund (EIF) to Namibian farmers for climate change programmes, noting that the grants will contribute to poverty eradication in the country.

EIF, which is under the Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism, managed to secure the grants from the Green Climate Fund through the Enhanced Direct Access modality for climate change projects.

Geingob said the grants will see at least 58 000 Namibians benefiting and over 200 jobs being created if the programmes are effectively implemented.

“The 19 grants awarded at today’s (Tuesday) event, are a result of the communities’ self-determined interventions in addressing climate change at the local level.  These projects are expected to impact up to 58,000 beneficiaries, including small-scale farmers and natural resource users,” said Geingob.

“In the process, they will create about 200 job opportunities and serve as a platform for rural economic emancipation to more than 36 small and medium enterprises in 33 constituencies.  This is a clear indication that these grants will contribute to our poverty eradication efforts, increasing the resilience of our vulnerable rural communities to cope with the ongoing drought impacts,” he said.

The development came at a time an estimated 700 000 people in Namibia are currently in a state of food deficit.

According to Geingob, Namibia has experienced five consecutive years of below to normal rainfall, with the 2018 to 2019 season being one of the worsts season in decades.

He noted that Namibia is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to the effects and impacts of climate change. 

“The challenge is serious and poses significant threats to essential ecological systems and undermines in particular the livelihoods of the vast majority of our poor rural communities but also affects the entire Namibian population,” he said.

Information from the Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism shows that the 19 grants are issued in three investment windows namely, climate resilient agriculture, climate proof infrastructure, and ecosystem based adaptation which are expected to achieve a myriad of impacts. 

“The projects are expected to provide year round access to reliable and safe water despite climate induced shocks and stresses to over 5 000 people, and ensure that more than 2 000 households will be food-secure,” said Minister of Environment and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta.

He said the 19 communities that received the grants are communities living in the community based natural resource area and also most vulnerable to climate change effects due to their dependence on natural resources use.

 

 

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