Control over farms questioned

The N‡aJaqna conservancy says the establishment of nine farming units will not improve the livelihoods of legal San residents in Tsumkwe West.

06 July 2018 | Environment

Chairperson of the N‡aJaqna conservancy in Tsumkwe West Sarah Zungu in a recent statement said the Namibian authorities should inspect the area to ascertain if a 2016 High Court order calling for the removal of illegal fences has been complied with.

She said the conservancy has been struggling unsuccessfully for years to get the authorities to respond to illegal fencing and illegal settlement in the area and should make a concerted effort to remove all illegal fencing during such an investigation.

Zungu has earlier expressed her objection to the envisaged establishment of nine farming units in the Aasvoëlnes area and now says that these will only benefit a few.

“Instead of creating farms for a select few, the alternative and preferred solution should be to install donor-funded solar water infrastructure in local San villages. At the moment they are struggling to create gardens and farm livestock due to poor unsustainable water infrastructure,” Zungu said.

The establishment of these farms, each to measure 2 500 hectares, is a N$20 million project of the Ministry of Land Reform for agricultural commercialisation under its Programme for Communal Land Development (PCLD).

It is envisaged that eight of the farms will be kept unfenced and be rented out for the first five years as an income for the San communities who are then to take over the units at a later stage. One of the farms will be fenced in and used as a model farm. Other projects related to this include a community tourism project and a community garden.

Zungu says it is a fallacy to think that these farms will be rented out successfully, arguing that there are no mechanisms to ensure that rent will be paid and no guarantee that the lessees will not erect more illegal fences.

“Who will ensure that they do not start grazing on conservancy land when [the rented] farms are over-grazed? None of these basic issues have been thought about,” Zungu maintains.

The N‡aJaqna conservancy said the PCLD project should instead consider investing N$10 million for ten new boreholes in ten San villages, that N$2.6 million rather be spent on solar infrastructure in the San villages and assistance be given to them to set up their own gardens.

The conservancy further proposes that N$6.8 million be spent on a rigorous analysis of a proposed living museum and campsite.

It said the two existing living museums have failed and the Omatako campsite was abandoned.

Namibia Premier Research Solutions (NPRS), which was commissioned by the lands ministry to facilitate consultations with the local San communities, the !Kung traditional authority and the N‡aJaqna conservancy, has earlier expressed surprise at Zungu's apparent “change of heart” concerning the proposed farming units.

The NPRS in a report said Zungu had at first supported the establishment of farming units but that the conservancy and “by extension” the Legal Assistance Centre (LAC), which offers legal advice to the conservancy, now holds the process at ransom.

Team leader of NPRS, George Eiseb, this week said the lands ministry has given the go-ahead for the farming units, but said the conservancy would be given another opportunity to give its input at a meeting on 20 July.

Eiseb said conservancy members have not attended a crucial meeting on 29 June held at Grootfontein.

He said more meetings will be held where eligibility criteria for the farming units will be discussed.

“We are asking the conservancy members to come to meetings to give their ideas; they must engage in the process. They must return to the planning process,” Eiseb urged.



Catherine Sasman

Similar News

 

Lion killed at Okakarara

1 day - 15 February 2019 | Environment

A male lion was shot and killed this week in the Okakarara area of the Otjozondjupa Region in yet another incident of human-wildlife conflict. ...

Bird flu kills hundreds of penguins

2 days ago - 14 February 2019 | Environment

Endangered African penguins on Halifax Island off Lüderitz are under threat from the H5N8 strain of avian influenza, commonly known as bird flu. The acting...

Trans-boundary wildlife crime training

3 days ago - 13 February 2019 | Environment

ELLANIE SMITCountries that make up the Kavango-Zambezi Trans-frontier Conservation Area (KAZA-TFCA) need to provide for specialist prosecutors that have knowledge about all wildlife crime-related legislation...

No bail for repeat offenders

4 days ago - 12 February 2019 | Environment

Environment minister Pohamba Shifeta says some of the 120 suspects arrested last year for wildlife crimes were repeat offenders who were out on bail for...

Moratorium on timber transport lifted

1 week ago - 08 February 2019 | Environment

The agriculture ministry has lifted the moratorium on the transportation of timber that was cut before 26 November last year. The executive director in the...

Greenpeace opposes Eskom compliance delay

1 week ago - 07 February 2019 | Environment

Greenpeace Africa is opposing Eskom's application for postponements and suspensions from complying with South Africa's Minimum Emission Standards (MES). In statement on Tuesday, Greenpeace Africa...

United against rhino poaching

1 week ago - 06 February 2019 | Environment

African countries are joining forces to fight against rhino poachers and come up with new and workable strategies to curb poaching. Environment deputy minister Bernadette...

Manganese culprits must pay

2 weeks ago - 01 February 2019 | Environment

Lüderitz residents have demanded an immediate moratorium on all movement of manganese ore to and from the town's harbour until sufficient social and environmental research...

White rhino need to be down-listed

2 weeks ago - 01 February 2019 | Environment

Concern has been expressed that private owners in Namibia will be forced to dispose of their white rhino, which constitute the largest part of the...

Namibians will retaliate - Shifeta

3 weeks ago - 25 January 2019 | Environment

Environment minister Pohamba Shifeta says Namibian communities will retaliate against wildlife if trophy hunting is not allowed in conservancies.Shifeta was speaking recently at the Dallas...

Latest News

Foreign graduates protest 'unfair' tests

1 day - 15 February 2019 | Health

Dozens of foreign-trained medical and dentistry graduates took to the streets yesterday to protest against a pre-internship exam which they claim is unfair and discriminatory.One...

FirstRand Namibia fights back

1 day - 15 February 2019 | Business

Jo-Maré Duddy – FirstRand Namibia bounced back to positive profit growth in the six months ended 31 December 2018 after taking a knock in the...

Our people sustain our group

1 day - 15 February 2019 | Columns

Engaged employees help establish better relationships with customers, since staff are the ones who are actually in contact with customers. This is why FirstRand Namibia...

NaCC scrutinises fuel imports

1 day - 15 February 2019 | Business

The Namibia Competition Commission (NaCC) is requesting input from interested and affected parties on the reinstatement of the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia's (Namcor) intent...

Our Achilles heel of accountability

1 day - 15 February 2019 | Columns

Enforcing greater accountability has always been an Achilles heel for the Namibian government over the years. Questions have been raised over whether there is indeed...

RA, Unam sign MoU

1 day - 15 February 2019 | Business

Justicia Shipena On 12 February, the Roads Authority (RA) and the University of Namibia (Unam) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) at the RA’s...

Mutorwa’s journey with science

1 day - 15 February 2019 | People

Justicia Shipena Marius Mutorwa is a lecturer at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust) in the department of health...

Witbooi artefacts coming

1 day - 15 February 2019 | Cultural

The arts and culture ministry has dismissed claims by the Nama Traditional Leaders Association (NTLA) that repatriating the bible and whip of the late Nama...

Desperate farmers receive fodder

1 day - 15 February 2019 | Disasters

Several Good Samaritans have come on board to show Namibia's spirit of helping those in a time of need. A total of 11...

Load More