The world is hungry for technology to increase production and make life easier. Since the industrial revolution in Britain, the word manufacturing is on every nation’s agenda. In this essay I am going to look at the winds of Namibia, and their contribution and significance.
Firstly, wind is moving air. In the World Book Dictionary (2003), it is said to be “air in motion”. One wise man inhaled in air, by doing so his chest becomes large, showing that moving air has particles. In the days of the Portuguese explorer’s Diego Cao, wind was the fuel of their wooden ships, as they explored the globe. It helped moved their ships, from continent to continent. This can be testified by the cross they left on the west coast of Namibia. To this day, the crosses are still there, the place is now called Cape Cross.
When one is naming the wind, you name it from where it is coming from then from where it is going. Namibia is dominated by the following winds, the Northern Eastern wind, which occurs in summer. It is associated with lower pressure system which brings heavy rains and a promise between God and the whole earth, “I am giving you a sign of my covenant with you and with all living creatures, for all generations to come. I have placed my rainbow in the clouds; it is the sign of my covenant with you and with all earth.”(NLT, Bible,2007)
The wind is not just a relief to the baked soil during summers in Namibia as it brings rain. But at this time, many Namibians start preparing their land and grow food. On the other hand, the most important item of the food chain grows to, the grass.
Interestingly substances farmers in the north, use the eastern wind to separate the mahangu grain from the unwanted materials, this wind is so vital that this step in harvesting will not take place without it.
The other wind is the Southern wind, which brings a cool breeze along the coast of Namibia, from Antarctica. As it meets the Northern East wind blowing from the Namib Desert, it creates a life giving support, along the coast for animals and plants, well known as fog. The hot air from the desert is cooled down to a liquid state, and this makes the Namib deserts to be a unique desert, as it supports the fauna, flora and even the earliest people in Namibia.
Secondly, today Namibians can only see the today Namibia, but thousands of years ago it never looked like this. The Northern Eastern wind has blown away much of the top soil and even in some areas the sub soil. One would wonder where it went. It all went into the Southern Atlantic Ocean. This cannot be seen, while one is on the ground, but these observations are well clear when one is in the International Space Station, that obits the earth at 420 kilometers above sea level, at 28 000 kilometers per hour. The winds exposed the works of the volcano underground, thousands of years ago.
Today many Namibians and visitors can see the Bradberg and Spiztkoper, but these mountains are instructive. This means, the magma cooled down quickly without it coming to the earth surface, creating a stone like thing underground. But over time, the soil then was weathered away by wind. The Namibian winds made it easier to mine in Namibia, as much of the top soil is already removed. This helps not to move much earth. One will not deny that Namibia is one of the mining capitals in the world.
On the other hand, the above mentioned wind gave some of the land marks it shape, like the spitkopper and the finger of God (Mukurob).
Going back to the southern wind, this is predominantly along the coast of Namibia, then in the interior. One might not know how much this wind is vital to the economy, plants, animals and coastline of Namibia. This wind is known, much as the Benguela current. This upwelling wind, which brings up phytoplankton to the top of the ocean, from the ocean floor, made Namibia a fishing basket.
So much that even walking in the Walvis Bay town, it smells fish. This can also be testified, if one goes in the households of many Namibians, you will come across a tin fish or a frozen fish in the fridge.
Thirdly, many Namibians would have been sitting at home biting their nails, but thanks to the upwelling Benguela current (southern wind), which brings fish food up. The sea is an important item to the economy, about 7000 people and still counting are employed in the fishing industry. Kite sport, is catching a lot of attraction at the coast, this can only happen with the compliment of the southern wind.
In conclusion, the winds have longed shaped the landscape and its people. These winds might not be seen by a human naked eye, but they use other forms, such as sand grains or other states such as liquid to be seen. They might not have been represented on our Namibian flag. But surely they fly it all times. I am inspired more, to learn about the Namibian wind, how to use its energy in powering Namibia or the shaping of the dunes. The winds of Namibia play a crucial role then, today and forever.
I love Namibia, my country.