Tag Archives: drought

Share Humanity: Stand #UnitedwithUNNamibia against the drought

Drought ImageWindhoek, 19 August 2016 – World Humanitarian Day, commemorated each year on 19 August, is a time to recognize those who face danger and adversity in order to help others. Due to the drought’s far-reaching impacts warranting specialized humanitarian intervention, the United Nations System in Namibia (UN Namibia) is encouraging the Namibian public to #ShareHumanity by standing #UnitedwithUNNamibia against the drought.

Humanitarian and development partners estimate that over 52 million people will be food insecure in East and Southern African countries, and that this number could rise. Drought poses a growing threat to Sub-Saharan African populations due to a combination of factors, including population growth, higher exposure to hazards, increased socio-economic and environmental vulnerability in poorest countries, as well as increased frequency, intensity and duration of droughts, also exacerbated by climate change. Continue reading

Practicum Participants see impacts of drought on Namibia and simulate a MUN conference

DSC_0027On 19 May 2016, the United Nation Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek’s Practicum Programme participants saw the impact climate change has had on Namibia by visiting Avis Dam and finished off the day with a MUN simulation through which the participants discussed the topic of wildlife trafficking.

To start off the day, the UNIC Windhoek team and the practicum students visited Avis Dam, which is one of the three main dams that supply water to Namibia’s Central Region in which Windhoek is located. The students were shocked to see the dam, which is currently completely dry, and exclaimed that it looks more like a football field than a dam.

DSC_0029 (1)After learning about the impact climate change has had on Namibia early in the Practicum Programme, the students were able to see firsthand how dry Namibia indeed has become as a result of the drought. The students were deeply concerned about this development and amazed at how fast the drought is affecting the local vegetation and water bodies. In order to encourage a focused dispute over the impacts of the water crisis the students were then divided into four groups and were assigned four different roles: a water company, a low income family, the government and a local game reserve.

DSC_0015The students answered questions about the water crisis and water conservation based on their assumed roles and presented their answers to the other groups. They shared how the water crisis has impacted their entity, where they intend to get water when the water is gone and what ways their entity can conserve water. After listening to each group, the students came to the realization that all sectors of society have been severely impacted by the water crisis and that united action needs to be taken to combat the issue in a sustainable way. Continue reading

First-ever visit by a UNDP Administrator to Namibia

On the first day of the first-ever visit by an Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)  to Namibia, Helen Clark assured national authorities of her organization’s strong support to the country, at a time when it’s facing the most debilitating drought in its history.

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“Namibia is a well-governed nation” Helen Clark said.  “We align our focus with the National Development Plan 4, and we trust the country can get more value for its very important industries, and maximize the benefits for its population. Namibia continues to grapple with poverty in some parts, the challenges posed by its upper-middle income status, and the current drought which has a devastating impact on cattle and wild life, and threatens the livelihoods of many communities.”

The United Nations Development Chief discussed Namibia’s vision to bridge livelihood gaps to create income balance with senior government officials. She further drew attention to the allocation and utilization of natural resources for a more diversified economy with H.E Hifikipunye Pohamba, president of the Republic of Namibia. The president stated that “our upper-middle income status is not cognizant of the country’s historical background and its unique circumstances, exacerbated by the effects of climate change. Currently, almost half of our 2 million population is affected by the drought.”

At a meeting with the Speaker of the National Assembly, the Honourable Theo Ben-Gurirab, Helen Clark discussed the need to emphasize local value in job creation and natural resources allocation, to utilize extractive resources for a more diversified economy geared towards human development and the attainment of demographic dividends.

During a cluster ministerial working session, the Right Honourable Prime Minister Dr Hage Geingob emphasized the President’s position on the classification of Namibia as an “upper-middle income” country, stating that the justification on economic merit does not address the deep rooted income disparities among the population. The cluster meeting was held to discuss Namibia’s progress on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), STGs and the Post 2015 Development Agenda. “Namibia’s voice in the Post 2015 Global Dialogue needs to be heard, and the country needs to be supported in fulfilling its objectives as outlined in its National Development Plan 4,” Clark said. The UNDP Administrator applauded the Government of the Republic of Namibia for fostering a peaceful environment and focusing on areas where it can sustain economic growth and wealth distribution, such as the fisheries industry.

The Cluster Ministerial work meeting was held with line Ministers at the old statehouse.

The Cluster Ministerial work meeting was held with line Ministers at the old statehouse.

Mrs Clark will meet with the officials of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism on Thursday and travel to the Erongo Region for a meeting with the Benguela Current Commission (BCC) in Swakopmund. The Commission serves as a vehicle for SADC countries Angola, Namibia and South Africa to jointly and sustainably manage the Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem (BCLME). This initiative is supported by UNDP to promote trans-border and South-South collaboration in the conservation and management of natural resources, through ocean governance policy, and the environmental aspects of marine mining.  The United Nations Development Chief will also tour the Hangana  Fish Processing Plant in Walvis Bay, and the country’s most important port; meet with civil society and women’s groups to discuss inclusion, gender-based violence and women’s empowerment, and visit the Havana Informal Settlement upon her return to Windhoek, to learn first-hand the challenges of addressing inequality in an upper-middle income country such as Namibia.