Alvine Kapitako Omitara-Having received five goats from the Namibian-German Special Initiative Programme, about five years ago, 35-year-old David Naukawaseb is one of the beneficiaries who is still going strong, despite many challenges. Naukawaseb still has five goats. Last Saturday he found one of his goats slaughtered at Omitara, possibly while it was grazing. There is a tendency among the youth of Omitara who are unemployed to steal from the community, even if it means slaughtering other people’s livestock. “I’m hurt. I work hard, and even when I do not have anything to eat I don’t slaughter my goats because the plan is to have many of them. Yet, somebody kills my goat, just like that,” he said. What makes it worse is that the slaughtered animal was a buck, meaning he would need to borrow a buck from neighbours for the purpose of reproduction if he wants to get more goats. “The neighbours are not always generous with their bucks and I will have to struggle again because the goats will take longer to reproduce,” said Naukawaseb. To add salt to the wound, one of his goats was recently killed by a leopard. Apart from that, he explained the grazing area is small because the settlement is equally small. “Our goats only graze in the corridors of the settlement. As you can see on both ends there are private farms and if the owners find our goats there we will be charged for trespassing and have to pay money to get back our livestock.” Nevertheless, “the white farmers are not as strict as they used to be when our goats are grazing there, although we are always cautious of being charged for trespassing,” added Naukawaseb. But there is no stopping Naukawaseb, who said his livestock would continue to expand. “There was a time when I had nine goats but not long after that many goats in the settlement started dying. I was not the only one affected. It was everyone in the community. We don’t know what the cause was but the animals started dying at a time when we received good rains. They would go and graze and when they came home they would just be dying,” he said. Naukawaseb said he received training when he was given the goats and apart from that he has a bit of experience on how to care for his livestock, which he acquired while taking care of his former employers’ livestock. “I don’t give my goats any medicine but I see them getting fat. The only thing I see is that they sometimes have lice.” He is one of a few young men who still have goats and look after them, and he is admired in the community. “I don’t want to struggle by always going to ask people for money. When they expand I will live well because with my goats I can take care of myself. If I have a need I will sell one of them for a good price. Recently I sold my small buck for N$750.” Meanwhile, there are also negative stories of how many young men slaughtered and sold their goats not long after receiving them. Thirty-seven-year-old Butikie Dam said his brother was also a beneficiary. But he did not take advantage of the benefits of farming. “He slaughtered three goats the same year he received them, and the two he sold,” said Dam. He charges that white farmers from nearby areas took advantage of the community, knowing that they are not skilled farmers. “There was a farmer here always looking for people to sell him goats and he is even the one who determined the prices,” said Dam. He further said: “Others sold their goats for alcohol.” Another youth, Hendrik Hoxobeb, said that many of the people were not adequately equipped to tend to livestock. “We had many goats but they never taught us what to do with the goats. The only young Damara man that is doing well with his goats is this man,” said Hoxobeb pointing to Naukawaseb. He was however quick to point out that the female beneficiaries are doing well. According to the National Planning Commission website, the Namibian-German Special Initiative Programme (NGSIP) was conceptualized and designed by the Namibian government in 2006. Former president Hifikepunye Pohamba instructed the then deputy prime minister, Dr Libertina Amadhila, to consult communities that had suffered during the German colonial period on how best to utilize a sum of euros 20 million (then approximately N$200 million) which the German government had granted towards improving the social and economic living conditions of those communities. The result was a uniquely participatory rural development programme with more than 200 small and medium scale projects identified and managed by the selected communities. These communities are amongst the most disadvantaged in the country in terms of access to economic and social welfare resources. They are located in 24 constituencies of the seven regions of Erongo, Hardap, Karas, Khomas, Kunene, Omaheke and Otjozondjupa. Communities were able to select projects in any economic and social development sector, according to their own assessment of priorities.
2017-09-29 10:15:18 11 months ago