Namibia's Drought Battle is Both Rural and Urban

Three weeks ago, the President of Namibia officially declared the country to be in a state of emergency. The country is facing its most severe drought in more than 25 years. In rural areas, crops are failing and livestock is dying. Just as destructive is the impact the drought is having on people in towns and cities.

Coca-Cola, for example, which employs 815 people in Namibia, recently decided to stop producing all canned drinks in the country and instead import them from South Africa. The company has two plants in Namibia – one in the capital, Windhoek, and another in the town of Oshakati in the far north. Frik Oosthuizen, head of Coca-Cola in Namibia, said the decision to stop producing canned drinks was “a direct result of the water crisis”.

Meat exporter Meatco has also scaled back production, citing the country’s drought as the direct cause of the temporary closure of its plant in the city of Okahandja due to the low number of available cattle.



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