Financing remains one of the major factors affecting the combating of drought and floods which are a direct result of climate change, Deputy Prime Minister, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, has said.
Speaking at the International Climate Change conference which was held recently at the Windhoek Country Club and Resort (WCCR), Nandi-Ndaitwah said the Namibian Government takes climate change seriously as evidenced by the creation of the Environmental Investment Fund (EIF) to raise and fund different projects countrywide associated with climate change issues.
Namibia is one of the first countries in the SADC region to access funds from the International Climate Change Fund (ICCF), which have been disbursed to the Environmental Management Fund.
“We are thankful to the international development partners such as the International Climate Change Fund and the European Union who continue to assist whenever they can through financing,” the deputy premier said.
She added that, Namibia and its regional partners should join their efforts in order to find modalities that can avert or dampen the effects of climate change.
Last year, Namibia and the region experienced a very uncharacteristic weather phenomenon in the form of a cyclone which ravaged parts of Zambia, South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe.
Statistics from the SADC Drought Factsheet shows that in 2016 alone about 21.3 million people in the region needed humanitarian assistance due to climate related disasters as they could not sustain their livelihoods.
Changing weather patterns have caused a reduction in farming ability to 33 percent which is challenging for the rural population to sustain livelihoods and income from less than two percent of arable land.
Last month, Namibia launched two projects funded by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Green Climate Fund (GCF) aimed at making rural agriculture and community-based natural resource management resilient to climate change.
The projects, each receiving US$10 million, are the Climate Resilient Agriculture in three Vulnerable Extreme (CRAVE) Northern Crop-Growing regions and the Empower to Adapt project.
The CRAVE project will be implemented in the Kavango West, Kavango East and Zambezi regions and is aimed at reducing rural residents’ vulnerability to climate risks and threats while increasing the adaptive capacity, well-being and resilience of the vulnerable small-scale farming communities in crop production landscapes that are threatened by climate change vulnerability.
At the launch, agriculture minister, John Mutorwa, said the two projects have come at the right time when Namibia is facing increased risks related to climate change effects such as floods, fires, crop and livestock and diseases.