The critical environmental and sustainability issues of Namibia:
The Namibian economy recorded a negative growth of 0.1 percent in 2018, Statistician-General Alex Shimuafeni told reporters on Thursday. This is the second year in a row that the country has recorded a negative growth; the economy contracted 0.9 percent in 2017. According to Shimuafeni, the main industries driving this weak performance were the secondary and tertiary industries. Namibia’s youth unemployment rate for 15-34 year old bracket has risen by 2.7 percent from 43.4 percent in 2016 to 46.1 percent in 2018. According to the survey, overall unemployment reduced slightly by 0.6 percent from 34 in 2016 to 33.4 percent in 2018. There was no significant difference between the figure of 2016 and the one of 2018.
Namibia is technically a middle income country; there is much poverty in Namibia as a result of income inequalities. The UNDP rates the income disparity in Namibia as the highest in the world, at 70.7 on a scale of 0 to 100. The top 5 percent of Namibians control 70 percent of the country’s GDP, while the poorest half of the population controls only 3 percent of GDP. Half of the country’s population lives below the poverty line.
Namibia ranks fourth as one of the countries most afflicted by tuberculosis (TB). The burden of TB has significantly dropped since 2004, when it peaked at 350,000 incidents. Unfortunately, the prevalence of HIV also fuels the high contraction rate of tuberculosis. About 41 percent of those with TB also have HIV. Due to a severely compromised immune system, HIV/AIDS and TB often mix for a lethal combination. HIV/AIDS are currently the diseases in Namibia associated with the highest death rates, claiming over 3,500 lives each year. There are 214,956 diagnosed cases of HIV in Namibia and only 68 percent of them are receiving antiretroviral treatment (ARV). There are at least 42,500 people that are suffering from HIV in immediate need of antiretroviral medication.
At 34 per cent, the country has the lowest levels of sanitation coverage in southern Africa, a situation that has not improved since 2006. In Namibia, 17 percent of children under 5 suffer from diarrhoea and repeated episodes of diarrhoea contribute to the country’s high levels of childhood stunting. 74% of rural people and 21% of urban residents practice open defecation. 20% of rural children suffer from diarrhoea, compared to 15% of urban children.
Rape still reigns in Namibia. Statistics obtained from the Namibian Police reveal that national rape cases increased by 75 to 197 cases between 16 April and 9 September 2013. The rape figures stood at an already alarming 122 cases across the country between the first week of January to 15 April 2013. This amounts to a 61% increase. Additionally, a total of 3164 rape cases were reported between 2016 to 2018.