ONGWEDIVA - The Ministry of Land Reform will this week deliberate on measures to clamp down on illegal fencing in communal areas in Ohangwena dotting the region.
The aim of the meeting is to creating awareness on illegal fencing as per the resolution taken during the land conference held last year.
Since 2013, the region has finalised six cases of illegal fencing of which the Communal Land Board in the region forcefully removed three.
Currently there are four cases pending finalisation. The Deputy Director in the Ministry of Land Reform in Ohangwena Samuel Amutenya said the sensitisation meeting slated for Friday will explain why illegal fencing is prohibited as well as the impact it has on the community and on agriculture.
The meeting will further seek to solicit input and intervention strategies to fast-track the removal of illegal fencing.
“We do not have statistics, but illegal fencing is taking place and most of the cases go unreported and only come to be known when conflict between the concerned party and traditional authority arises,” said Amutenya.
Amutenya said illegal fencing is particularly rife in the eastern part of the region.
“There are people that are even fencing off forests and conservancies,” said Amutenya.
Amutenya said if land is not conserved and protected no land will be left for future generations. Given the current situation in the region, Amutenya said commonages for grazing animals are being depleted and could easily deplete in the future. In addition, Amutenya said the majority of those who fence off large chunks of land are usually those who are financially stable, leaving the poor majority with nothing.
Only individual landowners are legally permitted to fence off crop fields or cattle pens and troughs.