Werengendje boosts food production

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Chrispin Inambao
Rundu

Kavango East Governor Dr Samuel Mbambo has informed Vice President Dr Nickey Iyambo that “Werenjedje”, an agricultural scheme he initiated to complement existing government programmes, has so far assisted 304 communal farmers with ploughing, weeding, harvesting and marketing.

Mbambo recently met with Iyambo, who visited Kavango West and Kavango East to meet governors, traditional authorities and to inspect government green schemes, where he got first-hand information on the problems faced and in turn proposed interventions to mitigate and resolve the challenges.

The former diplomat said progress on the homegrown scheme was visible “when someone drives alongside the road. The impact of ‘Operation Werengendje’ is evident. It is planned that this year the programme should end with a Food Expo to be held from June 7 to 9.”

The theologian said the third step of the programme involves visiting Mashonaland West in Zimbabwe where his delegation will learn more about food production. Mbambo is also in talks with the leadership of that province to sign a twinning agreement and Kavango East farmers will benefit from the visit.

He also said the construction of the Rundu Abattoir is still ongoing.
On the international boundary fence between Namibia and Botswana, Mbambo said it was in a dilapidated state, “resulting in Namibian cattle straying into Botswana with ease”.

The crimes that are of greatest concern in the region are rape, poaching, murder, housebreaking and theft. Apart from general crimes in the region there are security threats that directly or indirectly threaten the wellbeing and social needs of the community and if not addressed could escalate into a national security threat, he noted.

These include poverty, teenage pregnancies, the high rate of school drop-outs due to teenage pregnancy, early marriages, alcohol abuse, the high rate of unemployed youth, the activities of ex-SWATF/Koevoet members and tribal conflict,” Mbambo noted.

Responding to the concern about the high-rate of unemployment the vice president reiterated that government will this year start the construction of a first-rate vocational training institution to equip the youth with much-needed vocation skills, such as plumbing, welding and brick-laying.

Mbambo also expressed concern over the increased number of poaching incidents, with 213 elephant carcasses recorded last year and 100 elephant tusks retrieved from poachers, while 63 suspects were arrested and 17 rifles seized from the poaching suspects.

On the human-wildlife Mbambo noted that this year seven human lives have been lost. Three were due to hippo attacks and four people were killed by crocodiles. Last year two people were mauled by hippos and three lives were lost to crocodiles, while many villagers incurred crop damage.

Iyambo’s well-received, interactive meetings ended on Tuesday when he had a lengthy community meeting at Rundu Trade Fair Centre with members of the community, whom he gave feedback on the various issues raised by the disabled, war veterans, students, farmers and others.

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