RUNDU - It is best known as the evergreen forest region with the Kavango River that originates from Angola and spills into the Okavango Delta in Botswana. Furthermore, the region has the third lowest human survival rate in the country after Oshikoto and Caprivi.
With a current population of over 202 000, Kavango Region is the fourth poorest region in Namibia.
It is situated in the north-eastern part of the country.
According to information from the draft document on the regional poverty assessment profile on Kavango by the National Planning Commission (NPC) of 2001, almost 39 percent of the population is expected to die before reaching the age of forty.
Kavango Region comprises of nine constituencies, which are: Kahenge, Kapako, Mashare, Mpungu, Mukwe, Ndiyona, Rundu Rural East, Rundu Rural West and Rundu Urban. Its administrative centre is Rundu.
To the north-east, the region borders Caprivi and to the west it borders the Ohangwena Region and part of Oshikoto Region.
The perennial Kavango River on its northern border provides many different resources for residents such as water and food, and construction and craft materials.
The region accounts for 5.9 percent of the total land area of Namibia, inhabited by 11 percent of the population.
The population growth rate has been calculated to be 3.7 percent. Kavango Region has two towns, namely Rundu as the capital and Nkurenkuru, with two settlements Divundu and Ndiyona.
On account of its high rainfall – more than most other parts of Namibia – the region has agricultural potential with most of the agricultural activities and green schemes situated close to the waters of the mighty Kavango River.
Examples include Ndonga Linena, Shadikongoro, Musese, Sikondo, Shitemu, Vhungu-vhungu and Shangara.
There is also potential for organised forestry and agro-forestry. Examples include Ncamagoro forestry.
This stimulates furniture making and related industries.
Kavango is developing in terms of tourism.
The major tourist attraction areas include Mahangu, Khaudum and Sikerete game parks and Popa Falls.
Commerce and industry in the Kavango are driven by small and medium-sized enterprises, predominantly active in the retail trade, tourism-related business and small-scale manufacturing.
General dealing and hawking is an important economic activity and is stimulated by well-organised open markets throughout the region in the towns, settlements and villages.