By Engel Nawatiseb TSINTSABIS The Headman of the Hai-khom San at the Tsintsabis settlement in the Guinas constituency of the Oshikoto Region has cautioned against the theft of crops by those who have abandoned land donated to them by Government. Geelbooi Kashe told New Era on Tuesday that some groups of San had failed to plant and cultivate their land prior to the arrival of the current rains and are reportedly stealing the crops of other “”hardworking” farmers in the area. It is disgraceful, he noted, that some beneficiaries have failed to produce food for their families and continue to rely on handouts from Government and other villagers that have successfully stocked up to feed their own households. Kashe said that incidents of theft take place as a direct result of unfenced hectares of land that Government made available to the San community at Tsintsabis. “My appeal to them is to plan properly and capitalize on the opportunity created by the State to become self-sufficient. Some even ate the supplied seeds instead of planting them. Our Government is really doing everything in its power to bring (us) on par with the rest of society. I don’t want to see people complaining, because they don’t want to follow the advice of their leaders when called upon to invest physical labour before bread could be brought on their tables,” said Kashe. The headman however requested the Government to provide a tractor to the community in order to complete the build-together pro-gramme that has been halted after the tractor attached to the settlement was withdrawn to have its engine overhauled last year. According to him, the villagers require the services of the tractor to drive sand, cement and crushed stones to the site where about 80 incomplete housing structures are situated. He noted that most villagers are exposed to rain and cannot find proper shelter in their dilapidated shacks. Kashe said Government also provided 24 cattle to 12 families to plough their respective fields but that the impact of the dry season last year was negative on the physical condition of the cows. “We need time to re-energize the cattle, they are very weak and lean and are failing to pull the implements through the fields.” Meanwhile, Kashe noted that criminal activities as well as the excessive indulgence in alcohol and drugs have decreased at the settlement. He said the San people primarily depend on government pensions and cannot afford money to buy liquor on a daily basis. “I know alcohol use was alarming at one stage, but mostly young people take alcohol here and there – I cannot report any crisis at this point in time. Alcohol is the enemy of our health, and we try to discourage that behavior amongst our members and we are serious about that.” He noted that Government has proven to be a serious partner in the development of the San people. “We have witnessed the initiatives of Government through Dr Libertina Amathila. We are ready to take its (Government’s) hand by cooperating and through the active participation in its programmes. President Pohamba needs to be commended for his selfless efforts,” said Kashe. He urged the San to appreciate the contributions that Government has made towards addressing their plight.
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