RUNDU - An organised group of community members from Kaisosi Kavangara Women Agricultural Project cc have rejected a council decision to excavate a burrow pit that would allow council to mine gravel to resurface streets in town.
The group this week claimed they have been farming in the area for decades, hoping to turn the land into a collective agricultural irrigation project. The group narrated they never succeeded in obtaning a title deed from the town council when they applied for the piece of land over a decade ago.
They are now rejecting council plans to turn a portion of the piece of land into a burrow pit.
“We have also been requesting the council since 2008 to lease us the land so we start a green scheme project as the Kaisosi community, where we can irrigate crops all year round, unlike now where we only do rain-fed crops,” said the Kavagara project chairperson Michael Linyando. “But our application has been rejected and council wanted to sell it to an organisation and an individual who wanted to do the same as we plan. What we want is for council to come and we engage but we just heard they brought in a bulldozer and started mining gravel without consent from the community; they must engage us so we do things procedurally.” According to the group, council had written to them requesting for a piece of land towards a new burrow pit. “Most of our roads in formalised areas are sandy and need urgent re-gravelling. An urgent request is hereby made to Kavagara Women Project to avail land measuring 0.0625 hectares (250m x 250m) to establish a council borrow pit for the re-gravelling project currently underway,” read the request by the former acting CEO Herman Haingura. The community is not happy with the fact that council went ahead to mine gravel from the portion of land, which the community had cleared and prepared to plough.
“This portion of land is our field that we cultivate collectively as a community. Other projects have taken a portion of it, and that prompted us to jointly come together and work as a team to prevent losing the land, so we came up with a project idea to get donors or funding to start an irrigation project where we can just pull water from the nearby river,” said a project member Maria Goretti Kaundu. “These people depend on this field. Do they [council] want all people to depend on drought relief or what? We want to feed our families,” Kaundu continued. New Era was unable to get the acting CEO Fransiska Thikerete’s comment timely, as she was preoccupied with meetings.
2019-11-22 07:49:05 | 2 months ago