The poor man feels it

We have long expected it, and finally, though not good news, President Ian Khama has declared drought year.

The writing has always been on the wall, that we are headed for the worst, as rainfall amount fell in the last three years.

In fact, during  the 2014/2015 season there was absolutely little to record particularly in the southern part of the country.

This phenomenon has not only affected crop production, livestock has also been adversely affected. Communal farmers who rear small number of livestock, have, as always been the worst hit, as they cannot afford to buy feed and water their animals. Grazing land has turned brownish, fields produced very little, and the temperatures continue to rise.  Livestock famine means no livestock sale.


In the process, the national abattoir, the Botswana Meat Commission, is struggling to collect enough cattle to fully operate its plant and meet market demand for beef.

A declaration of drought comes with many implications. In the first instance, it means the government has no choice but to intervene by subsidising livestock feeds; commercial farmers are able to seek insurance compensation; and that it is an acknowledgment that millions spent on ISPAAD have gone to waste.

What the farmers ought to learn from this catastrophe is that they must change their mindset – livestock farmers should destock when they are advised to do so by veterinary officers; crop producers ought to plough drought resistant crops such as sorghum when they are told to do so by agricultural demonstrators.

It is high time we join the rest of the  world and discuss climate change in every forum in order to curb or cushion its effects, since all evidence suggests that indeed this problem is upon us.

The temperatures have gone up, rainfall has become a special commodity, whilst our dams have dried up.

 We are aware that the government has drafted a Climate Change Policy and it is our appeal that it be published and availed in as many institutions as possible.

When HIV/AIDS claimed thousands of lives, we did not sit back and watch, men and women stood up and sensitised the nation about this scourge and the results started to show after some time.

We can do the same about climate change and educate people about it, the roles they can play to reduce its severe effects and why it is important for everyone to take part.

In a nutshell, climate change is upon us and every man and woman, government, groups of people, individuals, adults, and children should play their part to reverse its effects.

And it is the poor man who feels the impact of climate change.

Today’s thought

“Climate change does not respect border; it does not respect who you are - rich and poor, small and big. Therefore, this is what we call ‘global challenges,’ which require global solidarity.”

 - Ban Ki-moon

Editor's Comment
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