Drastic action needed to halt bush encroachment – Hailwa

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Staff Reporter

Windhoek-Namibians will have to quickly learn to speak the same language when it comes to controlling bush encroachment with it affecting one third of Namibian prime land and with it having increased drastically over the last couple of decades.

It’s now time for drastic action to halt this thief that is robbing Namibia of billions of dollars each year, director of forestry in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) Joseph Hailwa, reminded his audience, pointing out the dangers of bush encroachment.

Hailwa officiated at the launch of the Decision Support System on how to control bush thickening by Acacia Mellifera (S.Mellifera) and a handy Bush Control Manual last week in Windhoek during the National Rangeland Management Policy and Strategy (NRMPS) and Bush Encroachment Forum.

He noted that the government through partnerships with donor organisations, was working on strategies to tackle bush encroachment effectively. Such strategies include the piloting of bush feed for cattle and game, the development of capacity building materials, as well as environmental and forestry guidelines on bush control and biomass utilisation, among others

“Bush encroachment is not a quick fix or a one size fits all solution. Therefore, we need to join hands with those who are contributing to eradicating this problem, as I believe that this challenge can be overcome if we pull our efforts together more synergistically,” he observed.

Stressing that fixed carrying capacity of animals is at the root of the current destruction, especially communal areas, Hailwa says both the Decision Support System booklet on how to manage Acacia Mellifera species, as well as the Manual on Bush Control were developed by Namibian rangeland experts.

It provides farmers with information on how to control bush encroachment on their rangelands. With emphasis on bush control and aftercare measures to avoid the cycle of bush encroachment, bush control and back to bush encroachment.
The publications will further be utilised by Agricultural Extension Services and other advisory services in the country to reach out to farmers on the implementation of sustainable bush control and rangeland management.

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