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Bakgalagadi yearn to improve their lives

2023-02-07  Loide Jason

Bakgalagadi yearn to improve their lives

The Bakgalagadi community at Corridor 21 in the Aminuis constituency plead for government to recognise them as a marginalised group. 

Several community members on Friday told New Era they are languishing in poverty.

The community depends on those who receive social grants as pensioners and those who receive disability grants for survival.

 The minority group, which lives in the east of Namibia, has its origins in neighbouring Botswana. It does not engage in livestock farming and crop production activities. 

They sit around all day and do not do anything productive. 

Chairperson of the Bakgalagadi Traditional Authority Andreas Kaiser said although the group has been there since pre-independence, they deserve the marginalised status to benefit from governmental projects that are meant for those groups.

Aminuis constituency councillor Peter Kazongominja agrees there is a great need to uplift the living standards of the Bakgalagadi community in his constituency.

Kazongominja states that the only way to improve the living standards of the community, which has a population of about 3 000, is through livestock farming and income-generating projects. 

“Whether there is a drought or not, these people don’t have food on the table. These people have nothing, and our current struggle is to get the central government to recognise this group as a marginalised community to receive government food aid assistance, which will improve their living conditions,” he noted.

Kazongominja said a submission has been sent to the relevant authority for consideration.

The councillor further said his community is lagging in terms of development.

Among other needs, Kaiser requested a solar-powered water generation system for his village to allow the community to engage in crop production.

He said they are willing to work for food.

Currently, only the San, Ovatue and Ovatjimba communities have been recognised as marginalised communities in Namibia, and their affairs are handled by the division of marginalised communities in the Ministry of Gender Equality, Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare.

This division advocates and promotes the rights of marginalised communities, focusing on integration and socio-economic mainstreaming in the society in line with national, regional and international instruments that relate to the rights of indigenous peoples/marginalised communities.


2023-02-07  Loide Jason

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