This project supports the Namibian Red Cross Society (NRCS) to reach 11,500 drought affected people with a focus on interventions on the sectors of water, sanitation and hygiene promotion, food security, nutrition and livelihoods for seven months. The drought is forcing people to use water from unprotected sources and placing them at risk of waterborne diseases. Food insecurity is placing further stress on the affected population, especially for those living with HIV, in a country where the widespread and generalized HIV epidemic (current HIV prevalence rate in Namibia is 14.3 per cent (UNAIDS 2014)) has challenged households trying to generate livelihoods and meet their increased nutritional requirements. NRCS will target the five regions of Kavango, Kunene, Oshikoto, Ohangwena and Zambezi, which are among the worst affected in terms of food insecurity, and are where NRCS can provide added value as they are currently implementing various programmes in all five regions. A total target of 11,500 people / approximately 3,200 households will benefit from meal provisions, water rehabilitation and hygiene promotion activities and agricultural support.
The food security response strategy includes soup kitchens for 720 households / 3,600 people, which will provide one meal a day six days a week. Additionally, NRCS will provide longer term, food security and livelihood support via the establishment of five community gardens and provision of gardening inputs per region, which will benefit 100 households and improve nutrition for 500 beneficiaries. Livelihoods will be supported through identification and training of 100 Lead Farmers. Lead Farmers will be responsible for cascading knowledge and skills to an additional 10 beneficiary farmers each, therefore reaching 1,100 farmers and improving the livelihoods of 5,500 beneficiaries through cultivation of maize and millet. To ensure access to clean water for consumption, the operation will support the rehabilitation of 16 strategically located wells/springs in Kunene region that will benefit 1,280 households / 6,400 people. NRCS will conduct community hygiene promotion activities and alongside the planned operational activities to prevent the outbreak or spread of water borne diseases and cholera in all the targeted regions (3,200 households / 11,500 beneficiaries).
An estimated number of 370,316 people (16 per cent of the total population) are food insecure and in need of urgent food support, while a total number of 578,480 people are affected by the drought and will need livelihood protection deficit support until the next harvest in April 2016. Furthermore, there was an overall significant reduction in food and water availability, access and utilization due to adverse effects of drought. As a result, a number of households have reduced their number of meals consumed to one meal per day. Based on the NRCS vulnerability selection criteria and government assessments the selection criteria for assistence in the targeted communities include: Labour constrained households, Households with malnourished clients, Child, female and elderly-headed households, People living with HIV, and those on ART and TB treatment, Pregnant and breast-feeding women, and children under five years, Households with people with disabilities, Households with people who are chronically ill.