THE Ministry of Land Reform has handed over the Mangetti Dune Settlement project to the Otjozondjupa Regional Council with the aim to improve sustainable opportunities in line with the government’s objective to achieve food security, self-employment and economic enhancement for the rural poor.
Governor of Otjozondjupa, Otto Ipinge, said the handover of Mangetti Dune Resettlement Project from the Lands Ministry will inevitably result in more developmental opportunities in rural areas.
According to Ipinge, he invited other NGOs, as well as the private sectors, to join hands in order to bring more activities to the region which will uplift the living standard of particularly marginalised communities.
He added that the project was birthed in 1996 and was necessitated by the ex-soldiers of the colonial dispensation who were laid off duty and had nowhere to go.
“They decided to reside in the old military dilapidated bases in Mangetti Dune and located themselves back in the impoverished communal areas where they were exploited as cheap labourers by the local farmers,” he explained.
This, Ipinge noted, prompted the Namibian government to seek solutions aimed at integrating the ex-soldiers together with other marginalised San communities in the Mangetti Dune and surrounding villages into the mainstream of the Namibian Society.
Lastly, Ipinge said, the overall objective of the project is to provide the San community with farming land, livestock and implements in order to increase their livestock and uplift the living standard of the beneficiaries by accessing them to low cost housing, education and health facilities.
Through the project, the Otjozondjupa Regional Office, was able to provide portable water for domestic use, irrigation purposes and livestock consumption, as well as facilitate and improve livestock production; establish other non-agricultural income-generating activities and facilitate training of beneficiaries on project management, quality control and how to market with a view to prepare them for taking over their own project.
“However, this project being in the vicinity of communal villages, the coverage area is so vast in such a way that it makes it very difficult to manage and coordinate planned activities,” concluded Ipinge.