OTJIWARONGO/KOMBAT – The Minister of Lands and Resettlement Alfeus !Naruseb is very happy with crop farming activities underway at the Neu Sommerau resettlement farm.
Currently the community of Neu Sommerau owns an extensive plantation of 700 hectares, all of it under cultivation. However, !Naruseb expressed disappointment over the fact that the farmers live in makeshift huts made with plastic and corrugated zinc sheets. Neu Sommerau is a resettlement farm situated about 4 kilometres from the Kombat mine in the Outjo constituency in the Otjozondjupa Region. About 203 households, mainly mine workers, were resettled on the farm in 2001. The farm has become home to more than 1 000 residents. “I respect that this community is one of the best examples of the diversity that makes up our country, Namibia. I know Neu Sommerau is made up of families from different backgrounds and cultures, but they have one thing in common which is that we are all Namibians,” he said.
The minister is appealing to businesses and farm owners in the Kombat area to assist residents of Neu Sommerau with building materials to build decent housing. “I urge businesses in the area to help government in putting up permanent structures for the people of Neu Sommerau,” !Naruseb appealed, adding that the ministry will also make attempts to get money to build brick houses for the resettled farmers.
!Naruseb addressed the farmers during a meeting at Neu Sommerau last week, where he promised that ministry officials are ready to work with the farmers to ensure that challenges faced by them are discussed and resolved amicably.
“Issues of land are frequently intertwined with conflicts and thus they have high potential to become explosive and disturb our hard earned peace, tranquillity as well as derail us from our path towards prosperity. Therefore you are all expected to demonstrate the virtues and values of alertness, discernment, honesty, fairness and sensitivity towards other community members that you are living together with at the project,” he added. !Naruseb further urged residents to constantly engage each other and the steering committee in the administration of the project as they build a community which has become a home for them.
However, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Lands and Resettlement Lidwina Shapwa said she was deeply concerned to hear that there is a serious problem of alcohol abuse on the farm. “I understand that there are shebeens on this farm, please remove them as soon as possible. The sale of alcohol on resettlement farms is not allowed,” she said. “There should be no sale of alcohol here. You can only sell bread, butter, tea, sugar and other household goods. If there is anyone out there selling alcohol now, please stop it,” she stressed. The minster was accompanied by Otjozondjupa Regional Governor Samuel Nuuyoma.
By Kuzeeko Tjitemisa