Red Line continues to divide people: Mutorwa

02 Sep 2013 06:20
MURURANI, 02 SEP (NAMPA) - The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry has appointed a team to investigate the future relevance of the Veterinary Cordon Fence (VCF) or Red Line, which is increasingly seen as an oppressive line that only serves to divide the country into two parts.
The Red Line is a fence which effectively cuts the Northern Communal Areas (NCAs) off from the rest of Namibia – ensuring easy monitoring of animal movement between the two areas in order to better control the spread of communicable diseases, especially in livestock.
Agriculture, Water and Forestry Minister John Mutorwa said his ministry decided to establish a team to research the existence of the Red Line “which appears to divide the country”.
The research team is expected to report back to him by November this year.
Mutorwa said this during the official inauguration of an office and accommodation block for the Directorates of Veterinary Services (DVS) and Forestry at the Mururani Gate on Thursday.
“After 21 March 1990, the Veterinary Cordon Fence, or so called Red Line, continues to divide our country between a recognised disease-free southern zone, from which most commercial livestock farming originates, and the northern subsistence farming sector, where the majority of people and cattle are to be found,” he stated.
The minister said actual freedom and liberation will come to people only once the removal of the Red Line is achieved.
According to Mutorwa, besides the Zambezi Region and the Mukwe and Ndiyona constituencies of the Kavango East Region, no other constituencies or regions in the North have ever reported an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) over the past 30 years.
He indicated that the presence of FMD and lung sickness is largely responsible for the lack of Northern participation in the agricultural economy of the country.
In accordance with the government’s policy for the eradication of Trans Boundary Animal Diseases (TAD) in Northern Communal Areas (NCAs), Mutorwa said projects and strategies are currently being considered and implemented to eradicate such diseases and improve market access for livestock and livestock products from the NCAs.
The office block, 12 staff houses and a cattle holding pen were constructed at a cost of N.dollars 22,7 million.