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Kavango farmers want roads, cellphone network

2019-08-14  John Muyamba

Kavango farmers want roads, cellphone network

RUNDU – Farmers in Kavango East Region on Friday submitted their grievances to President Hage Geingob during a town hall meeting at Rundu stating how they are disadvantaged due to the lack of roads and communication networks in their farming areas.

The farmers, represented by the Kavango East Regional Farmers Union, said equity in allocation of road infrastructure in the whole country should prevail and not some regions having roads budgeted for while others have none.

“Why is no new road in the current road authority planned for our region? Is the road authority strategic plan 2019-2022 static?” said the union’s chairperson Adolf Muremi.

Muremi told the Head of State it takes the furthest farmer in the region the same time as someone travelling to Windhoek to reach his/her farm. 

Since 1995 not a single feeder road has been constructed to link small-scale commercial farms to economic centres. This, if done, according to Muremi, will facilitate easy movement and access. 

“Comrade President, we applaud MTC’s 081everyone initiative to ensure 100 percent cellular coverage. And we take cognisance of the number of new towers erected in the region. Your Excellency, we would like to see this noble initiative extended to the heart of the small-scale commercial farm units. Sites were already identified but we still wait for the first site to be erected to benefit farmers in our region,” the union chair said.
The union also asked government through Geingob why are small-scale commercial farmers in Kavango East denied making use of natural resources such as charcoal.

“Why are small-scale commercial farmers with 99-year leasehold certificates excluded from the automatic Agribank start-up loan of N$200 000 just like the resettled farmers south of the redline? While the leasehold certificate is the same word by word,” he asked.

“How does the ministry of land reform plan to develop the about 399 small-scale commercial farming units, if other policies deny the farmers to use resources on the farm such as timber and charcoal to develop the farm?” 

The union leader highlighted that water infrastructure development on Gciriku traditional authority small-scale commercial farms started in 2014 /2015 and the project budget was 20 million but to date it has not yet been implemented. 

“Is the money still there? When exactly in 2019/2020 is the implementation going to start and when is it going to end, in 2020/2021? Why did the ministry send the implementation plan, which stipulates that the project will start 2017/2018 and end February 2019?”

 But with all the questions posed, President Geingob and the line ministers did not respond to any of the questions asked by the union as there was no time for feedback as the meeting came to an end.

2019-08-14  John Muyamba

Tags: Khomas
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