!Kung chief welcomes farming units

The N‡aJaqna conservancy and !Kung traditional authority are on opposite sides of the proposed development in the Tsumkwe West area.

29 June 2018 | Environment

Glony Arnold, chief of the !Kung traditional authority, says she is surprised at Sarah Zungu's “change of heart” on the introduction of nine farming units in the Tsumkwe West area.

Arnold says the turnaround is “rather unexpected” since Zungu and the N‡aJaqna conservancy, which Zungu claims now rejects the farming project, were part of all stages of consultation and subsequent decisions.

Zungu, as the chairperson of the N‡aJaqna conservancy, last week rejected the proposal and claimed that a map and proposal on the project signed by a board member of the conservancy was unconstitutional.

She said the conservancy refused to sign off on a map to which it was strongly opposed and to which objections had been made in writing at several meetings with the ministry of land reform, which is driving the project to establish farming units in the area.

Consultants of Namibia Premier Solutions, who produced the map, concurred with Arnold that Zungu and the conservancy were part of discussions on the ministry's Programme for Communal Land Development (PCLD).

They said Zungu in fact was present when the now deceased Pienna Dammi (then the acting chairperson of the conservancy) had signed the proposal.

Arnold said Zungu and the conservancy could not reject the proposed farming units in the name of the San communities because they were not the legal representatives of the community.

She said the !Kung traditional authority was the only one in that area and that the San community in Tsumkwe West was thus legally represented by that authority.

“Sarah Zungu and her handlers should remember that nobody will pitch the N‡aJaqna conservancy against the !Kung traditional authority for whatever ulterior motives,” Arnold said in a statement.

Arnold said the conservancy was established through an initiative of the traditional authority and as such the conservancy should not rate itself above it but rather cooperate with it for the implementation of development projects.

“The PCLD programme will directly support the local traditional communities to fight poverty and hunger,” Arnold said.

According to the Namibia Premier Solutions consultants, the idea with the farming units is to create a mixed farming zone of 2 500 hectares each on the 53 000 hectares of the Aasvoëlnes area where there are currently 33 customary San land right holders. The 33 right holders and their family members amount to about 135 people.

Arnold said the plan was to establish nine boreholes with solar-powered pumps in unfenced designated livestock farming units; a community tourism centre with a San 'living museum'; a craft centre and camping site for tourists; and a community garden.

The consultancy's team leader on this project, George Eiseb, said only one of the nine farming units would be fenced to serve as a demonstration farm.

He said a cooperative with strong bylaws would be established to protect the vulnerable community.

It is envisaged that the farming units will be leased to people from outside the area for the first five years so that the cooperative can generate income to buy livestock and other goods to set themselves up on the farming units.

Eiseb acknowledged that the Tsumkwe West San communities are very wary of 'outsiders', especially after an uncontrolled slew of illegal invasions and the erection of illegal fences that are slow to come down despite a High Court order.

“Every development will attract outsiders. However, it will be prudent for the conservancy to stick to the project and manage the process. Influx can only be managed, not stopped,” Eiseb commented.



ZUNGU DIGS IN HER HEELS

Zungu has said in a new statement that all previous consultations were “meaningless” and that the conservancy's comments and suggestions were ignored.

She reiterated that all illegal land grabbing and settlement should first be dealt with.

Zungu said the minister of environment and tourism, Pohamba Shifeta, who visited the area in April, had seen for himself the extent of illegal fencing and settlement, which she said had “significantly reduced” the San's rightful land use.

She said the PCLD proposal would further limit the local community's access to conservancy land that is currently used for trophy hunting and devil's claw harvesting.

While Eiseb stressed that the proposed farming units do not fall within the boundaries of the N?aJaqna conservancy area, Zungu called on Shifeta to support the conservancy by requesting that the PCLD programme be “turned into one that brings wider benefits to a greater number of the legitimate local indigenous San community”.

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

Hostel a threat to lives

1 day - 15 February 2019 | Education

The Kavango West education directorate continues to subsidise a dilapidated church hostel at Nkurenkuru, despite a 2010 directive by the health ministry that it must...

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...

Load More