Kavango West still without land board

21 October 2019 | Agriculture

The Kavango West Region, which came into existence six years ago, still does not have its own communal land board.

The land reform ministry blames the situation on financial constraints.

Since the demarcation of the Kavango region in 2013, the local community has been demanding their own communal land board.

Their land issues are being dealt with by the Kavango East Region Communal Land Board, which they are unhappy about.

A communal land board is the body tasked with land administration in a communal area by ensuring that the Land Reform Act is executed properly.

The Communal Land Reform Act deals with access to rural land in communal areas and it regulates the allocation of land rights.

Kavango West regional governor Sirkka Ausiku has appealed to the lands ministry to rectify the matter without further delay.

She made the call shortly after informing the public that problems with illegal fencing and common grazing were on the increase in the region.

Namibian Sun recently reported that the Uukwangali Traditional Authority was struggling with illegal fencing and grazing in its area of jurisdiction.

When Namibian Sun talked some farmers, they complained about having to travel to Rundu to sort out problems with land rights.

“We travel more than 100 kilometres to talk to the ministry of land reform in Rundu, which is too costly. We need our communal land board at Nkurenkuru,” one farmer said on condition of anonymity.

When contacted for comment, ministry spokesperson Chrispin Matongela said there were no funds for establishing offices in Kavango West.

Matongela said by law it was acceptable for the Kavango East communal land board to serve the needs of people in Kavango West, but politically it was not proper.

Matongela advised that in the meantime Kavango West could mobilise itself and create a secretariat to handle land matters.

“They can even use some staff members of the Kavango West regional council and the ministry of lands and form a secretariat, because the secretariat is what is important,” Matongela said.

KENYA KAMBOWE