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Drought relief assistance and livestock support programmes for thousands of vulnerable and affected communities and farmers in the Otjozondjupa Region will be distributed from the beginning of October until June 2024.

This was announced by the Otjozondjupa Regional Governor, James Uerikua, who says the council will monitor closely to ensure there is no wastage of food aid or communities not able to access the aid.

At the Gam Settlement, about 100 kilometres from Tsumkwe, community members flocked in large numbers to register for food and livestock assistance.

Annually, thousands are left vulnerable and food insecure because of poor rainfall.

Gam Settlement Control Administration Officer Leah Muatjetjeja voiced concern over the short period of registration as many households in the area are not yet listed as beneficiaries.

"We have registered more than 300 households already. So, like on Monday, we went to some villages outside, but we also didn't finish due to time, so we continued from yesterday until today. We have been given limited days, like two days, for the whole of Gam."
 
Otjozondjupa Governor James Uerikua, in a recent interview with nbc News, said: "The assessment has covered all seven constituencies of our region, and all sectors that are prone to being adversely affected by drought were covered, so we are expecting that it will cover all those that are really in need, and every sector and every part of our community that really has to benefit will eventually be covered. And then, as regional leaders, we have the responsibility to go around and ensure that this indeed is being implemented up to the latter."

Uerikua added that the council will also look into beefing up the financing of rural water supply and sanitation during this period.

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Faith Sankwasa