24 Aug 2015 13:50pm
OTJIWARONGO, 24 AUG (NAMPA) - The Deputy Minister of Land Reform, Bernadus Swartbooi on Monday opened a one-day stakeholder workshop on communal land infrastructure development in Otjozondjupa.
Swartbooi said the workshop, which is taking place at Otjiwarongo, serves as a platform where community members, traditional authorities, regional councillors and communal land board members are expected to streamline overlapping land use matters.
This platform will also allow you to actively participate and discuss what type of farming infrastructure you need, and where to set it up in your local areas, he said.
Swartbooi explained that his ministry is busy consulting communities in communal areas on the identification of communal land that could be developed by way of his ministry setting up farming related infrastructures on the identified portions of communal land.
He said the Ministry of Land Reform plans to drill and install boreholes, erect boundary fences, construct multi-purpose kraals and set up water points in communal areas countrywide.
The Deputy Minister said the exercise has already been completed in some identified communal areas in the Zambezi, Omusati and Ohangwena Regions.
The regions to benefit from it next are the Kavango East, Oshikoto, Otjozondjupa and Omaheke Regions.
Swartbooi said in the Otjozondjupa Region alone two huge portions of communal land covering a total of 912 000 hectares (ha) will be needed for the programme.
He said his ministry is prepared to invest N.dollars 30 million in setting up the farming infrastructure on the identified portions of communal land.
It is for this purpose that we are gathered here today so that we introduce you to this communal area infrastructure development programme under the Ministry of Land Reform, said Swartbooi.
He then urged community members in attendance, including the Chief of the Kambazembi Royal Traditional Authority, Chief Sam Kambazembi, representatives of the OvaHerero Traditional Authority and members of the Otjozondjupa Communal Land Board, amongst others to actively participate in the workshop.
The Director of Communal Land Development and Programme Implementation in the Ministry of Land Reform, Alfred Sikopo and the Project Manager for Communal Land Development Programmes, Jericho Mulofwa are attending the workshop.
The workshop is being facilitated by consultants from Agra Provisions in the capital.