9 May 2018

Namibia: Ausiku Urges Traditional Leaders to Stop Allocating Communal Land to Individuals

Kavango West governor Sirkka Ausiku has appealed to traditional leaders in the region to stop allocating communal land to individuals.

Ausiku said this during her fourth state of the region address on Tuesday.

She said the region is faced with challenges of communal land administration, illegal fencing of land as well as traditional authorities allocating commonage to individuals without consulting the affected communities who use the areas for grazing.

The governor referenced recent media reports of an area called 'Gode' in the region that is inhabited by the San community, and a certain farmer who fenced off a large tract of land, including several homesteads, crop fields and water wells.

Ausiku said the area is known to belong to the San community since independence and although they are nomadic people, it does not mean that the land should be taken away from them.

"We are appealing to our traditional authorities to relook at the area and leave our San population to remain at the place they call home," she appealed.

Ausiku also touched on other challenges affecting the region such as the veterinary cordon fence, human-wildlife conflict and the unavailability of safe drinking water, which she said needs urgent intervention.

She said in order to address the situation of the veterinary cordon fence, a cattle ranch like the Kavango Cattle Ranch can be developed from the gazetted farms.

"We are appealing to our government to develop those farms and cordon them like how we did with the Kavango Cattle Ranch," appealed Ausiku.

On human-wildlife conflict she said of late, people's crop fields have been destroyed by elephants, and she appealed for the policies on human-wildlife conflict laws to be revised to address the matter.

She also pointed out that most inhabitants living along the Okavango River do not have safe drinking water and depend on the river.

"As a region to arrest the situation, there is a need to construct a water pipeline along the national roads from Mururani to Rundu and from Rundu to Eenhana in the Ohangwena region to Tsintsabis in the Oshikoto region."

- Nampa

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