Namibia: //Kharas Submits N$500 000 Incentive Claims

A total of 67 farmers in the //Kharas region have submitted subsidy claims of N$500 000 for cattle and small stock sold under the government's drought emergency marketing incentives scheme.

//Kharas governor Lucia Basson made this announcement in her state of the region address at Keetmanshoop last week.

She said farmers in the region sold a total of 390 cattle and 5 248 small stock since 1 April 2019.

By 20 June, 4 147 people had registered for the emergency drought relief food parcels, which consist of a 12,5 kilogramme bag of maize meal, tinned fish and a bottle of cooking oil.

The governor said the number of registered people is more than the 3 353 food parcels allocated to the region for the programme.

"We will devise strategies to overcome this shortcoming," she promised.

President Hage Geingob last month declared a state of emergency in Namibia as a result of the drought the country is experiencing.

Reflecting on the region's implementation of the Harambee Prosperity Plan, national development plans, Vision 2030 and regional strategic plans, Basson expressed satisfaction with the progress the region has made, despite financial constraints.

The governor stressed that there is "zero tolerance" for corruption in the region, and urged inhabitants to report any corrupt activities to the Anti-Corruption Commission.

The region's political head said corruption had resulted in many incomplete capital projects in the country, which should have benefited thousands of Namibians.

Commenting on the state of the region address, Popular Democratic Movement national chairperson Ricky Vries, who doubles as the party's regional coordinator in //Kharas, said it was good that the governor had alluded to the drought relief assistance.

He suggested that the government should increase the number of livestock which farmers are allowed to sell under the marketing incentive scheme to at least 400 to avoid lay-offs in the agricultural sector.

Vries expressed disappointment that no mention was made of a budgetary provision for the construction of a clinic at Grünau, saying the regional government would rather build a settlement office to the tune N$900 000 at the settlement during the 2019/20 financial year, as opposed to the clinic.

"Priorities should be set," he stated.

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