Otjiherero Listeners Sidelined – Councillor

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By Michael Liswaniso

OPUWO

Senior traditional councillor of the Vita Thom Royal House at Onguta village, some 30 km outside Otjokavare in the Sesfontein constituency, Faniel Ondjiwa, says radio communication is a vital tool in all respects especially during the current drought.

He claimed that his community which is prominently Otjiherero speaking, is not well informed on current affairs and is sidelined when it comes to entertainment and education.

The councillor said 17 years after independence, his community is still unable to tune to the national broadcaster and listen to the Otjiherero service.

“Nothing has improved here. It is still like in the olden days because it is still Damara/Nama and Afrikaans only. To my surprise, when you go to Kamanjab and Sesfontein, there is no Otjiherero broadcast but in Outjo and Khorixas it is there,” said the senior citizen.

He noted that it is not just the Onguta village that is affected but a chain of nearby villages.

On a positive note however, Ondjiwa expressed happiness with the rains and said the grass has so far started to grow again.

But he was quick to bemoan that though grass has started to grow, human beings cannot eat grass.

“Grass has started to geminate but people don’t eat grass. There is no milk now, a lot of cattle died,” he said.

He thus appealed to Government to assist the hard-hit farmers, claiming that since last year, the communities have been promised drought relief food but nothing has come forth to date.

“We were promised drought relief food since August last year and we have not received anything. Food is being given to the Ovatue community while we are also in a crisis,” bemoaned Ondjiwa.

Ondjiwa added that his family alone has lost over 60 cattle since last year as a result of drought, while estimating that over 200 cattle belonging to other residents have died.

Contacted for comment, the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation’s station manager for Otjiwarongo, Tobias Kandanga, said: “It is in our strategic 10-year plan – a high power transmitter will be put up within the Kamanjab district soon. It is only a matter of resources.”

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