Omitara — The Namibia-German Special Initiative Programme on Wednesday distributed free goats to 80 unemployed youths at the Omitara settlement in the Steinhausen Constituency.
The programme, worth hundreds of millions was initiated to address the developmental needs of the Herero, Mbanderu, Nama, Himba and San people dispossessed by the imperial German government during the colonial era.
The 80 youths became the latest beneficiaries of 400 goats from the Namibia-German Special Initiative Programme that aims to improve farming productivity.
Omitara is a sleepy settlement located some 110 kilometres from Windhoek towards Gobabis in the Omaheke Region. The Constituency Councillor who is also the Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Kilus Nguvauva, handed over the goats on Wednesday at the settlement.
Nguvauva, who delivered a speech in addition to handing over the goats on behalf of Omaheke Governor, Laura McLeod Katjirua, said the government needs to be openly complimented for its sound democratic governance and healthy diplomatic relations that gave birth to this initiative aimed at rural development.
He said government is committed to reducing poverty and underdevelopment through the German Special Initiative Programme to empower people to increase productivity in agriculture and farming activities in communal areas.
"I want those who have directed unguided criticism at the initiation of this programme, to proudly and openly apologise and congratulate this visible and practical achievement of our government to alleviate the plight of our marginalised grassroots people. It is high time to know and to agree that development is a process and not a one-off event - it requires our patience and realistic expectations," he remarked.
He also reminded the beneficiaries that the government has brought development to their doorstep and the commencement of the next stage of the programme is in their hands. "This project is very special in Omitara, because the beneficiaries are the youth, the cream of this nation. You must now stop complaining about unemployment and prove your ability to make a living through this self-reliance initiative."
Nguvauva urged the youths to maintain a satisfactory degree of responsibility and accountability to make the exercise a resounding success.
"We must collectively guard these animals against theft, drought, illegal and abusive trading or anything which is in conflict with the conditions and requirements of the programme," he said.
He also noted that the initiative has also benefited other marginalised groups in other constituencies such as Corridor 17 at Aminuis, while Epukiro and Otjinene will follow soon if all modalities are ironed out in due course.
Nguvauva also expressed satisfaction with the programme, saying: "It is unique because it is benefiting the youth only."
Unemployed youth Gabriel Eigowab (20) said he is a proud beneficiary.
"These goats will bring a lot of positive changes in our lives. I am unemployed, but now I can become a farmer and make a good living out of these livestock," he said.
Another beneficiary, Ingridt Vries (34) explained that once the goats produce kids, she would be able to sell them and pay the school fees of her children who are attending high school. "I like farming but never owned animals. We really thank our councillor for his continuous support," she said.
Meanwhile, Paul Damm (25) also said he is happy because it's the first time he will own his own livestock.