Land degradation fuels poverty: Herunga

28 Oct 2014 16:50pm
AMINUIS, 28 OCT (NAMPA) - Land degradation as a result of overgrazing and deforestation is one of the leading causes of poverty in the communal areas, the Minister of Environment and Tourism says.
Uahekua Herunga said here on Monday that many communal farmers rely on land for subsistence agriculture, which makes it difficult for them to eke out a living when the land is no longer able to support their farming activities.
He made the remarks when he officiated at a cheque handing-over ceremony to community projects in environment, conservation and tourism at Aminuis.
The Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET), through the Kalahari-Namib Project (KNP), donated a combined N.dollars 1 million to community projects in Aminuis and Corridor 13 - each receiving N.dollars 500 000.
The KNP aims to respond to critical needs and challenges in integrated sustainable land management.
The minister said sustainable land management is one of the valuable tools which can prevent land degradation and restore degraded areas in order to assist those who rely on subsistence agriculture for a living.
“Sustainable land management has a direct and positive impact on food security and the improvement of living conditions after droughts and desertification on affected communities,” he said.
Herunga noted that his ministry has been working hard to help communities and farmers cope with the challenges posed by climatic variability and Namibia's harsh farming environment.
Reverend Rips Kazapua, who spoke on behalf of the beneficiaries, said the money will be used to advance small-scale projects on environmental conservation in the area so as to advance sustainable land usage.
“We are very grateful to the ministry for assisting us, and promise that this money will be put to good use for the projects it is intended for,” he stated.
The KNP will remove barriers at regional level to the sharing of experiences and upscaling of sustainable land management practices throughout the Kalahari-Namib ecosystem.
In support of this view, the interventions of this project focuses on decision-makers, including land users and local people at all levels.