OKAKARARA – Communal farmers in the Okakarara Constituency have proposed that government gives them cluster land rights over their villages.
Their demand follows the proposed 20-hectare (ha) per household allocation in communal land, which they allege is ambiguous.
According to Okakarara Constituency Regional Councillor, Vetaruhe Kandorozu, many of his people do not understand the 20-ha allocation system.
“People feel the moment they are allocated their 20 hectares, they will not have rights for grazing land. They fear that their control over the villages will be taken away by government,” Kandorozu explained.
Villagers further fear that government will end up with land rights to settle people from outside their villages, in their areas.
“People have a fear of the unknown. They want cluster land rights. They want to be given land rights over their villages so (that) they can manage their villages as they used to. No land should be given to the land board,” the councillor said.
A senior councillor of the Ovaherero Traditional Authority at Otjituuo, Erisa Verimuje, also told New Era that residents do not understand the 20-ha allocation.
“We want our homesteads to be allocated in terms of grazing camps as it was done by the transitional government. We don’t want the demarcation of 20 hectares as other people might be resettled on our land,” he noted.
Communal farmers feel that giving land away to people from other areas will cause disputes.
“We grew up on this land and had no problems in the past and if other people are brought in, then it will be chaos,” Verimuje explained.
Residents of Otjituuo and Okaepe also aired their concern about lack of development in the area. They said they are in dire need of a clinic because the only medical facility near them is at Okakarara, which is about170km away.
“When someone is sick, we put them on horses up to the main road to find transport to Okakarara. It is very difficult for us, especially when our expectant mothers want to deliver,” said Verimuje.
Another issue they raised is poor networks and radio reception. They claim that they cannot make emergency calls because there is no network in their villages.
Therefore, they pleaded with MTC to put up a tower in their area.