Chinese Firms Pool Donation for Drought-Stricken Namibia

Chinese Ambassador to Namibia, Zhang Yiming (L) hands over drought relief donation raised by the Chinese business community in Namibia to Namibia's Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila (R) in Windhoek, Namibia, Nov. 25, 2019. (Xinhua/Musa C Kaseke)

WINDHOEK (Xinhua) — Namibia’s drought relief coffers were boosted by the Chinese business community from across the country, who donated 2 million Namibia dollars (136, 000 U.S. dollars) for drought relief efforts.

The Chinese Embassy in Namibia representing the business community handed over the cheque to Namibia’s Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila in Windhoek on Monday.

Speaking at the handover Kuugongelwa-Amadhila thanked the Chinese community for the assistance that has been rendered to Namibia over the years due to recurring droughts.

The Prime Minister who is cognizant of the effects of global warming and climate change said due to Namibia’s arid environment, the country will likely receive the negative impacts for more years to come.

“We need to build on our drought resilience,” she said, while she thanked China for their unwavering support during the torrid period.

Kuugongelwa-Amadhila also assured the Chinese government that the funds received will be channeled to those that are in dire need.

Chinese Ambassador to Namibia, Zhang Yiming, who handed over the contribution told the Namibia government that China will continue to assist with the much need support needed to their “all-weather friends”.

“We hope under the government, this situation can be overcome,” he said, adding that the around 4,000 Chinese businesses operating in Namibia assisted with the donation.

Zhang said the Chinese government has heeded the call for assistance by Namibia’s president. Since the declaration of a state of emergency, China’s Red Cross Society was one of the first respondents and donated 150, 000 U.S. dollars for relief.

Zhang said among other contributions the recent donation of relief food worth 1 million U.S. dollar aimed to assist the Kavango East and West regions will see the first consignment being distributed in December.

Namibia is currently experiencing the worst drought in 90 years and on May 6, Namibian President Hage Geingob declared a state of emergency.