Vaalgras-About six years ago, the Vaalgras community benefitted from the Namibian-German Special Initiative Programme (NGSIP) livestock project with 690 goats given to 69 households.
This, with a mandate that these beneficiaries each give back the 10 goats after three years of farming so that fellow community members could also benefit from a revolving scheme.
However, six years down the line, only 200 of the possible 690 goats have been returned, meaning only 20 families, as opposed to 69 households, could benefit from the programme this year.
Of the 69 families that benefited from the project only 37 (54 percent) families have managed to give back livestock, and while some managed to give back the stipulated 10 goats, many struggled to reach that number, as on average a household only gave back five goats. This means 490 goats are still outstanding.
But this did not dampen the hearts of those who received their livestock at Vaalgras on Tuesday, with many beneficiaries expressing happiness and their commitment to farm and be productive.
One of the beneficiaries Perpertual Jossob, 45, said she is very excited to have received 10 goats, saying this will improve her life significantly, indicating that many people in that area depend on farming for their livelihood and the goats are a boost for recipients like herself.
“I already have some experience in farming, farming is our livelihood here, we eat from there, we pay our children’s school fees from farming, so I am glad to receive my own goats today,” she said.
Another beneficiary, Ludick Stephanus, 50, shared the same sentiments, saying he is glad to have received the goats as it is good for any farmer to get livestock, adding that he looks forward to farming productively and return the number of animals required after three years.
“I am happy, it is something I did not have before, and I am looking forward to giving back the goats within the expected time frame,” he said.
Attending the handover ceremony, both Berseba constituency councillor and Vaalgras Traditional Authority Chief Joël Stephanus, expressed concerns over the low number of goats being returned, saying the programme’s success hugely depends on the people, and, therefore, people should ensure many other community members benefit.
Vaalgras is situated about 60km northeast of Keetmanshoop. The village is the seat of the Vaalgras Traditional Authority.