THE Ministry of Agriculture, Water, and Land Reform has appointed 30 women to the Communal Land Board.
The 30 women are part of the 68 people that were appointed to the board.
Those appointed are expected to serve as Communal Land Board members for the next three years.
The new members were selected from Oshana, Omusati, Oshikoto, and Kunene regions.
Minister of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, Calle Schlettwein said land administration matters are emotive, therefore in some cases some individuals incite communities, yet they are not capable of resolving land problems.
“Our commitment to land reform is genuine. Our course is to promote a peaceful land administration throughout our country. Therefore, to ensure a functionary communal land administration throughout all our 13 regions where communal is found,” he said.
Schlettwein indicated that this far, a total number of 181 Communal Land Boards members have been appointed to serve on the Seventh Communal Land Boards, of which 75 are women, which represents 41%.
Schlettwein encouraged organizations to nominate more women and youth in order to have a gender-balanced land board as well representation of the youth for succession purposes.
Schlettwein noted that although great achievements were recorded over the last three years, there is still an outstanding number of 30 007 applications, for both Existing Customary Land Rights and New Customary Land Rights which need to be registered and issued with Land Rights’ Certificates to the land rights holders.
He stated that the allocation of unreasonable (big) sizes of land parcels on commonages is another concern.
“Some Communal Land Boards have been approving land rights exceeding 50 ha for Customary Land Rights and exceeding 100 ha in case of Rights of Leasehold,” he noted.
Schlettwein explained that this is a contravention of the provisions of the Communal Land Reform Act. Many of those allocations have led to unnecessary disputes and litigation processes.
He then urged all members to refrain from this practice and be compliant with the provisions of the Law.
Oshana Regional Governor, Elia Irimari said the Communal Land Board and the traditional authorities play a crucial role in administrating communal rights and ensuring that citizens have equal access to land rights within the communal areas.
“With government support, we have over the years observed an improvement in the process of land applications attended by the Communal Land Boards,” he said.
Irimari stated that he was aware of challenges faced and that need to be addressed to ensure that effective control and management of Communal Land.
“The challenge of illegal fencing among others remains an obstacle that continues to undermine our National Land policies hence the inauguration of the CLB boards to ensure proper control and management of communal land for the benefits if all,” he said.
Irimari urged the board members to do more in accelerating the land application process so that development is not delayed.