Farm allocation under community scrutiny

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Ongwediva

The community of Kalkfeld Settlement in the Otjozondjupa Region has raised questions regarding the allocation of Farm Rodenhof to certain farmers from that settlement.

Farm Rodenhof which is about 11 km from Kalkfeld, was allegedly acquired by government to help with the alleviation of drought and scarcity of grazing land at the settlement.

Close to 70 farmers who applied for resettlement at Farm Rodenhof were allegedly shocked to discover that the 7621-hectare farm was only allocated to four people. What was more shocking was allegedly the fact that one of the resettled farmers was not from Otjozondjupa Region.

According to one of the residents and farmers in Kalkfeld, Fillip Hipondoka, in 2014 the community held a meeting with then minister of lands and resettlement Alfeus Naruseb where it was decided that an assessment committee should be established to assess the situation and recommend solutions.

According to Hipondoka the committee then recommended that government acquire farms to alleviate the situation.
Farm Rodenhof was then bought as a result.

“We are just surprised because even the first farmers in Kalkfeld were not settled. The livestock of tatekulu Sebulon Kamati , 81, are just wandering around. Meme Bosman, an elderly woman from here, lost at least 16 head of cattle because her animals are just wandering around. These are old farmers that needed first priority. There is no food, there is no water, but instead of giving us land fairly, such a big portion was only allocated to four people,” said Hipondoka

Kalkfeld farmers compared Farm Rodenhof to other farms in Kunene Region, where 34 farmers were allocated Farm Elendbrund which is 5929 hectares, while 29 others were allocated Farm Onamatanga, which is 7650 hectares.

The community claimed they have tried to engage the Otjozondjupa Governor Otto Iipinge to address their plight but instead of helping he allegedly threatened to ‘stop working together with the people that are not on his side’.

“We wrote him several letters that he never replied to but when he eventually decided to come, he just came to threaten us, instead of listening to us. You can see that he had no interest on the issue because when he came to us he did not have any document or a notebook – he only carried his cellphone,” stated Hipondoka.

When contacted by New Era, Governor Iipinge refused to comment on the issue of Kalkfeld or on the general drought situation in the region.

“I do not address developmental issues in the media. Go back to those people. They must just be honest with you and tell you what the truth is … Go back to them. Goodbye my sister,” said Iipinge.

Chrispin Matongela of the Ministry of Land Reform said Farm Rodenhof was acquired to provide relief to Kalkfeld.

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