Ovadhimba and Ovahakaona also marginalised: Muharukua

07 Jun 2014 10:50am
OKANGWATI, 07 JUN (NAMPA) – The Special Advisor of the Kunene Regional Governor, Kenatjironga Muharukua wants the Ovadhimba and Ovahakaona to start benefiting from the Office of the Prime Minister’s San Development Programme.
Muharukua called on the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) to consider the suggestion during the launch of a brick-making project by Deputy Prime Minister Marco Hausiku at Otjandjasemo village on Tuesday.
Otjandjasemo is situated near the Okangwati settlement, which is located about 100 kilometres north of Opuwo.
“We thank Government through the Office of the Prime Minister which has programmes to improve the living standards of the destitute countrywide. It is a great initiative which needs to be applauded,” he said.
Muharukua, however, felt it was an oversight of the OPM not to make the Ovadhimba and Ovahakaona communities beneficiaries of the programme as he said they are also marginalised and living in destitution.
He noted that children from the two communities do not attend schools, while community members do not want to visit government offices for assistance as they fear they will be branded foreigners and told they are from neighbouring Angola.
“I am calling on the Namibian Police to be lenient with these two communities, especially with the members who are from Angola but have been living in Namibia, because they are not criminals. They are only people who have been forced to flee their country due to hardship, and found themselves here,” said Muharukua.
Some Ovadhimba and Ovahakaona are from Angola, but the majority are from Namibia.
Muharukua said appropriate help is needed to assist these two communities to improve their living standards.
Nampa spoke to two members of the Ovadhimba and Ovahakaona communities who expressed their gratitude towards Muharukua for standing up for them as they are in desperate need of government assistance.
Kavelitimi Tjinana from the Ovahakaona community said he hopes Government will include them in the special programme so that they can be assisted like the San, Ovatue and Ovatjimba communities.
“We live by cultivating maize fields and livestock farming, but most of us do not have livestock. If you go to our homes you will see there are no goats or cattle at all, and our children do not go to school,” Tjinana noted.
He indicated that the inclusion of their tribes in the San Development Programme would make a big difference in their lives.
This news agency also spoke to Maria Vetuhuta, a Dhimba women who was also very happy about the fact that government’s attention has been drawn towards their plight.
“I just hope that we will be noticed and included in this very important special programme so that we can benefit like other fellow Namibian marginalised communities,” Vetuhuta noted.
She added that they have resorted to collecting wood, wild fruit and berries to sell in order to make a living.
Vetuhuta said if government or the San Development Programme supplies entrusts them with irrigation projects or gardens, they would be happy to work and make a living out of that given their hardworking nature.
“We usually cultivate but due to the consecutive droughts experienced in this part of the region nothing could be harvested. We also could not collect wild fruit or berries due to the poor rains,” she added.
The Ovadhimba and Ovahakaona are traditional nomads who live like the OvaHimba community, although they focus more on crop farming while the OvaHimba are strictly livestock farmers.
They travel between the Kunene and Omusati regions in Namibia, while some live in southern Angola.