The northern and north-eastern parts of Namibia are communal areas where the land and all its wonders are traditionally owned and controlled by the local inhabitants. These people share the resources and there is no private ownership of land unless where necessary.
In the Zambezi Region specifically, the royal chiefs are responsible for allocation of land to the needy ones on behalf of the local residents. Despite all of this, hundreds of people in the region are still without land for communal or commercial purposes.
Much of these people depend more on government social grants leaving them in penury due to the fact that this money cannot satisfy their daily basic needs. Why after 25 years of independence are some of Namibians still without land? With a total area of about 14 785 square kilometres (5 709 sq. mi), the Zambezi Region has vast fertile land with no one working on it, especially in the far deeper south-eastern parts of the region where only communal conservancies and small communal farms are found.
There is plenty of rainfall during the rainy season and perennial rivers run across the areas that can for sure support irrigation systems if there is rain failure. Zambezi, as a national region of Namibia, does not produce enough food for national consumption unlike other regions, hence possibilities for such a state are there. Why can’t our chiefs donate some parts of this land to the government or private institutions to set up farms or food industries for economic and social development? This will bring jobs to the local people, since more people will be needed to work in these established farms or industries.
The royal chiefs on behalf of the local inhabitants must donate land to the government so that the government, through the ministry of agriculture, can set up commercial farms in these areas to ensure that we produce enough food and other commodities for all Namibians instead of depending on other countries for everything we consume. Setting up farms will promote exports and discourage imports of food commodities if what we produce is of good quality. This way we will ensure food security and boost the economy of our beautiful country.
Student, University of Namibia