13 June 2006

Namibia: Forests Benefit Poor in Kavango Region

Ncaute — THE Ncaute Community Forest Management Committee in the Kavango Region plans to buy school uniforms with income generated from selling forest products.

Ncaute Community Forest Chairperson Hamba Petrus told The Namibian last week that there were some parents in their community who are struggling to afford school uniforms for their children.

He said they also wanted to introduce a feeding project for struggling families.

Petrus said the community had earned income from selling firewood, wood carvings, thatching grass, poles for homestead construction and timber planks.

The Ncaute Com­munity Forest is one of the eight community forests in north-eastern Namibia that were gazetted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry on February 14.

These give rights to local people to control the sustainable use and protection of valuable wood and non-wood forest resources against over-utilisation, illegal harvesting and wildfires.

Public Relations Officer for the Community Forestry in North-Eastern Namibia (CFNEN), Wolfgang Adamek, said the project had provided training to women from community forests on how to make jam from forest fruits while woven baskets also provided much needed income.

On Wednesday, a new office for the Ncaute Community Forest was officially inaugurated by Agriculture and Forestry Permanent Secretary Kahijoro Kahuure, who called on the Ncaute community to use its forests in a sustainable manner so that they could benefit future generations.

The Ncaute Com­munity Forest, together with Ncumcara, Ncamagoro, Mbeyo in Kavango Region, Lubuta, Bukalo and Masida in Caprivi Region and M'kata in Otjozondjupa Region were established through the CFNEN Project.

CFNEN is a joint project between the Ministry of Agriculture, the German Development Service (DED) and the German Development Bank.

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