Mayana community demonstrates over land

The demonstrators demanded immediate compensation to the people who lost crop fields when the project uprooted their crops during the laying of pipelines on the land.

03 July 2020 | Economics

We the owners of these crops fields reject this project as there never were clear procedures taken on how this project would benefit us. Augustinus Poroto, Community member. Kavango East

The community of Mayana in the Kavango East region held a demonstration against what they termed “illegal land grabbing” by the Mayana Small Scale Irrigation Project and its associate, the Climate Resilient Infrastructure Development Facility (CRIDF).

CRIDF is a Southern African Development Community (SADC) regional programme being implemented in 11 SADC member countries including Namibia, and is busy developing an irrigation scheme on the 50-hectare land at Mayana village through the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development.

The community members in their petition read by their representative Augustinus Poroto said close to 100 affected people have crop fields on this land as well as homesteads and were never consulted by the involved parties.

Poroto in the petition received by governor Bonny Wakudumo of the Kavango East Region said: “We the owners of these crops fields reject this project as there never were clear procedures taken or discussions on how this project would benefit us.”

Consultation

The community demanded that the government put a stop to the illegal grabbing of the land and that proper consultations be held with the community.

The demonstrators further demanded immediate compensation to the people who lost crop fields when the project uprooted their crops during the laying of pipelines on the land.

Dr Michael Humavindu, deputy executive director of industrialisation and enterprise development at the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development told Nampa that the project was initiated by the community of Mayana who could not complete it due to a lack of funds.

“Through development cooperation, we were given the project by the National Planning Commission and we have been managing it to make sure that it is completed,” he explained.

Humavindu said lack of proper consultation does happen in projects of this nature but added that the ministry will be travelling to the region next week to meet the governor, the Shambyu traditional authority as well as the community of Mayana.

On his part, Wakudumo said he would forward the petition to the Office of the President and will give the community feedback by Friday. - Nampa

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