20 November 2012

Namibia: Projects Give Hope to Community

PROJECTS supported by the Namibia Protected Landscape Conservation Areas Project (Nam-Place) have brought a ray of hope to the poverty-stricken Klein Karas community in the Karas Region.

The projects include a solar-powered sewing project, community garden and community-run tourist information centre.

About seven households living at the settlement are mainly dependent on small livestock farming.

“Many people have migrated to the towns to find better livelihoods. We hope that the projects will improve our lives,” said one of the project beneficiaries, Josef Swartbooi .

Besides livestock farming, the community runs a conservancy under the Klein Karas Co-operative.

The community also established a vegetable garden to grow food and provide 17 jobs, but it failed to get off the ground.

According to Swartbooi, the reason for the failure was that the drip irrigation system was ruined by a build-up of limescale.

But the project's failure did not discourage Swartbooi.

“They say where there's a will, there's a way. Therefore, I have started a small veggie garden which is taking root,” said Swartbooi.

Nam-Place has pledged support the community to revive the gardening project.

Thanking the Environment Ministry for helping the community, another project beneficiary, Johannes Petrus Markus, remarked: “We are going to safeguard the little you gave us today. I am saying small, because in African culture, one never says that what you have been given is big. No matter how big it is, Africans will always say it's small. Do you know why? They are smart to preserve what they have been given."

Klein Karas is located some 200 kilometres southwest of Keetmanshoop.

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