Botswana President Lieutenant-General Seretse Khama Ian Khama has declared the drought across the country a disaster and announced a drought-relief programme that will end next year on June 30, 2017.
In a proclaimation order issued on Thursday, President Khama, said a drought assessment survey conducted by government ministries revealed that the poorly distributed rainfall during the 2015/2016 farming season had left a significant number of rural households vulnerable to hunger.
He said the drought, which affected the whole country, had also left the national livestock in danger of dying as a result of scarcity of water and pastures.
Among other mitigation measures, Khama said government would provide food aid to drought-stricken families.
A schools-based feeding programme will help supplement nutrition among pupils in primary and secondary schools in the Okavango District, which is the hardest hit.
Livestock farmers will also benefit from a 25% subsidy on stock-feed prices, which will remain in place until December 31, 2016.
The government also plans to introduce more social safety nets and raise the budget for a nationwide programme that seeks to prevent the destitution of drought-affected families.
– African News Agency