Kavango East farmers question First Land Conference resolutions

20 Jul 2017 15:40pm
RUNDU, 20 JUL (NAMPA) – Farmers in the Kavango East Region have bemoaned some resolutions taken at the first National Land Conference in 1991.
The farmers raised their apprehensions here on Tuesday during a consultative meeting on the second National Land Conference scheduled for September.
One of their concerns is with Resolution 15, which states “Farmers in communal areas should be allowed to give their crops and livestock effective protection from wild animals”.
Farmer Reginald Ndara said even if they fence in their animals, farmers are given little compensation when wild animals destroy their crops or livestock.
Currently, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) does not compensate the full value of the killed animal and only gives N.dollars 1 500 per animal as assistance.
Former Chief Regional Officer of the Kavango East Regional Council, Sebastian Kantema, who is farming since retiring in 2016, echoed similar sentiments and wanted to know how financial constraints can be a challenge for Government since 1991.
He suggested that the ministry look into other mitigation measures or find ways to relocate wild animals into conservancies or national parks to avoid farmers losing their crops and animals.
Another farmer, Timotheus Shinkeva, expressed concern over Resolution 13, which states that all Namibian citizens have the right to live wherever they choose to within the national territory.
He said those who have relocated from their regions of origin do not respect the rights and customs of their new communities.
“Very often communal farmers relocated to the Kavango East from other regions refuse to approach traditional authorities or attend traditional court hearings, and instead take matters to the High Court,” he complained.
Shinkeva advised that traditional leaders be given the power to handle communal land affairs.
Contacted for comment on Wednesday, MET Public Relations Officer Romeo Muyunda reiterated there are mitigation measures in place such as a quick response from MET officials when human-wildlife conflict occurs, but urged farmers in communal areas to keep their livestock in kraals most of the time and herd them carefully if near conservancies or national parks.