WINDOW ROCK, AZ – The Navajo Nation Commission on Emergency Management recently held a special meeting at the request of Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, and approved Resolution CEM 21-06-25, reaffirming the Navajo Nation’s drought state of emergency declaration to activate available emergency resources to help mitigate drought conditions.
“Everyone is aware that we are in a severe drought in the entire southwest,” said President Nez. “With this declaration we will be able to direct more resources to help address the situation. The Department of Water Resources has workers out in the communities helping to repair windmills, earthen dams, and other resources for our people. In addition, the Navajo Department of Health and Community Health Representatives are also distributing water to elders and disabled that are in need. During times of adversity, we have to remember the teachings of our elders such as T’áá Hwó Ají Téego, or self-reliance and self-determination. The teachings from our elders provide guidance and allow us to persevere, so please check on your elders and make sure they have everything that they need. We are still in a public health emergency due to COVID-19, so we have to continue to address that emergency as well.”
The Department of Water Resources recently reported the completion of repairs to 37 earthen dams in several communities. In addition, the Division of Natural Resources and Division of Community Development continue to coordinate efforts to provide hay and other resources for livestock to communities with $4 million in funding approved by the Navajo Nation Council’s Resources and Development Committee.
Due to several factors including drought conditions, President Nez and Vice President Lizer also issued an Executive Order implementing Stage 2 fire restrictions to increase prohibitions to help protect against the spread of more wildfires.
“From the local level on up, we have to coordinate and properly carry out measures to help address the current drought conditions and to help prevent further problems such as overgrazing,” said Vice President Lizer. “Some of the issues we are facing are preventable through proper strategizing, not only within our government, but individually as well. Our administration will continue to work to provide more resources to help with water resources, livestock, and agriculture.”
Resolution CEM 21-06-25, reaffirming the Navajo Nation’s drought state of emergency declaration, was passed by a vote of 3-0 and concurred by President Nez and Vice President Lizer.