Government through the Ministry of Land Reform has allocated N$30 million to Kunene Region for its communal land development programme in the face of drought.
This was recently announced by the Minister of Land Reform, Utoni Nujoma, who visited the town of Opuwo to seek input from the regional leadership and traditional authorities on how to successfully roll out the programme in the region which for years has been battling the effects of drought due to low rainfall.
The land development programme is a government initiative aimed at increasing the commercial utilisation of land in communal areas, thereby enhancing food security and improving the livelihoods of citizens residing in communal areas.
The programme is jointly funded by the Namibian government, the Kreditanstalt fur Wiederaufbau (kfw) and the European Union (EU).
According to Nujoma, access to land is one of the most pressing socio-economic issues in Namibia.
“It is for this reason that the ministry, through the land reform programme, has developed and implemented various interventions through programmes such as communal land reform to respond to the skewed nature of land ownership and lack of access thereof by most Namibians,” he said.
The minister further indicated the programme will empower communities to receive and develop infrastructure such as water points and livestock handling facilities to ensure efficient utilisation of the land throughout the year.
It is up to the regional leadership and all stakeholders to discuss and interrogate what is being proposed for the region.
Once the concept is agreed upon the ministry will consult extensively with the regional government structures, traditional authorities, existing land users, conservancies, community forests, civil society and other institutions to identify areas where programmes can be implemented.
All regional councillors and traditional leaders present at the consultative meeting welcomed the idea of rolling out the programme in the regions, noting that it will go a long way in addressing the land question in the country. They promised to engage their communities and subjects to identify areas where programmes could be implemented.
• Selma Gumbo is an information officer working for the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology in Kunene Region.