• April 26th, 2019
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Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry: Feddback

Query: Could the Ministry of Agriculture inform the nation about the origin of the Redline or the Veterinary Cordon Fence Response: The Veterinary Cordon Fence (VCF) runs from near Palgrave Point in the west, along the southern border of Etosha National Park and curves around the Gam area (20th parallel) in the east. It is a double fence consisting of a high game proof fence on the northern side, separated by a 10-metre passage from a stock proof fence on the southern side and is approximately 1251 kilometres long. The VCF separates the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) recognised Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) free zone without vaccination to the south of the fence from the rest of the country. Origin: Around 1896/97 a cordon fence was established to prevent the incursion of Rinderpest into central Namibia. It is called a red line which stems from the depiction in red ink on a 1911 map created by the German colonial administration. The Red Line was changed several times and was since the 1960s also used to isolate foot-and-mouth (FMD) disease outbreaks in the North from the farms in the South. In a nutshell, the fence was initially erected to contain the spread of diseases from the North to the South, unfortunately during the apartheid period it was also used as a barrier to restrict black people from moving from the North to the South of Namibia. Query: Ministry of Agriculture why was the Redline set up? Response: The fence has been established for various reasons, including the effective control of FMD, Bovine Pleuropneumonia (lung sickness), and in view of the stringent market requirements of trading partners. That means no movement of cloven hoofed animals or their products is allowed from north to south of the fence, unless such a product went through the FMD virus inactivation process. Namibia is a big producer and exporter of animal and animal products, on which the majority of people’s livelihoods depends. Unfortunately trading in especially animals and raw animal products require a country to have a free zone recognised by World Organization for Animal Health. As you know, specifically cattle and small stock play a vital role in the economy and must therefore be protected and used as a vehicle for sustainable rural development as espoused in the Vision 2030 and the National Development Programs. Currently we are talking of a beef industry valued at ver N$2,6 billion which contribute enormously to the gross domestic product of the country. Query: The erecting of a border fence between Namibia and Angola and the removal of the infamous veterinary cordon fence could soon be a reality. When will this happen? Response: Firstly, moving the red line is not only about the fence, it is a process; there are a number of activities which must be done. In this regard, the ministry has a policy on eradication of transboundary animal diseases in the northern communal areas of Namibia, which devised ways and means to eradicate transboundary diseases for the purposes of improving market access for livestock and livestock products from the northern communal areas. As such part of the plan, the ministry is busy implementing a number of activities in the North: To meet international markets requirements and assure clients of the integrity of our livestock and meat production system, the ministry has extended the Namibian livestock identification and traceability system, which was only south of the veterinary cordon, but is now fully functional north of the veterinary cordon fence. To create markets and enhance food safety & enhance in the NCA, the ministry is embarking upon on the construction and upgrading of abattoirs to meet export standards for example at Eenhana, Outapi, Rundu, Ongwediva processing hub etc, and a number of auction facilities. To improve the access of quality veterinary services and thus improve veterinary coverage in the NCA, the ministry has constructed a number of offices, clinics and accommodation facilities across the NCA, at places such as Omuthiya, Eenhana, Outapi (with developing partners MCA), Okahao, Okalongo, Ruacana, Sangwali, Ndiyona, Epembe, Omundaungilo, Ncaute, Ndiyona, Ondangwa etc. In the same vein the staff of the directorate has been increased and decentralised for example almost each state vet district has at least two state veterinarians – not only to bring services to the people, but most importantly to increase animal disease surveillance and disease monitoring programs. To improve the inspection services along Namibia/Angola border – we are busy with construction or in the process with borders infrastructure and houses at Oshikango, Omahenene, Kasamane, Ruacana, Swaartbooidrift, Oronditi, Muhembo, Wenela, Katwitwi. Since we know that we cannot eradicate FMD in the infected zone, mainly Zambezi region due to free roaming African buffaloes, who are carriers of the FMD virus, we are planning to construct a meat processing plant at Bukalo which can inactivate the virus in the meat, thus allowing uninterrupted marketing even if there’s an outbreak. For diagnostic services, we are currently embarking on the construction of a veterinary state of the art laboratory at Ondangwa. On the fence construction itself, as you know that this is a livestock fence between the two countries, consultation has started and ongoing with different authorities in both countries at different levels, and we are hoping that in the next financial year we cover more activities, such as the finalisation of the fence design, demining, feasibility study and other activities depending on the availability of resources. It should be noted that the livestock fence must be constructed first between the two countries, such as the one between Namibia and Botswana, receive recognition from World Organization for Animal Health and only thereafter the current veterinary cordon fence can be decommissioned. It is a process. Query: What are the possible implications of the removal of the redline course? Response: If the fence is removed without any alternative first put in place, then it means the free zone will lose its status, consequently all established markets will be lost since all trade agreements we have is on the basis that such animals/products must originate from the free zone. If there’s no market that means farmers will be out of business, which means unemployment and the general contribution of the livestock sector to the country’s GDP will be lost. Query: What is the current state of the foot and mouth disease in Namibia? Response: Currently we have an outbreak of FMD in Musele Island, Kabbe south of the Zambezi region, in our infected zone. The infected zone has free roaming African buffaloes. • Margaret Kalo, Senior Public Relations Officer, Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, e-mail: Margaret.kalo@mawf.gov.na Home Affairs and Immigration Query: Response to the New Era article titled: Stringent visa requirements adverse to tourism, dated 17 July 2017 Response: The Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration would like to set the record straight and refute the concerns highlighted in the above said article dated 17 July 2017, in the New Era newspaper. The following is the position and stance of the Ministry: The requirements for visas in Namibia are provided for under the Immigration Control Act, Act No. 7 of 1993 which was enacted to regulate and control the entry of persons into, from and their residence in Namibia. Section 24 (b) (i) of the Immigration Control Act, Act No. 7 of 1993 provides that no person shall: “… enter or reside in Namibia with a view to temporary residence therein, unless - In the case of any person who intends to enter or reside in Namibia for the purpose of employment or conducting business or carrying on a profession or occupation in Namibia, such person is in possession of an employment permit issued to him or her in terms of section 27;” It is this category of persons, including tour guides, who are required to apply for employment permits (including work visa which is a short-term employment permit) before entering Namibia in order to comply with the requirement of the above stated legislation (kindly see attached list of requirements). Visa applications are processed on a daily basis and in spite of the high volumes of inflow, the process (waiting period) takes up to three working days or to some extent not more than five working days. Although the Ministry does accept applications for employment permits from third parties, it is our preference that applicants submit such applications directly to our offices and enquire about any relevant information whenever necessary in order to avoid misinformation and irregular practices. Our website (www.mha.gov..na) may be helpful as well.   The following are the Requirements for Work Visa (short term employment permit): 1. Completed visa application form number 3-1/0033. 2. Attach certified copy of passport (Personal data page). 3. Motivation letter from applicant/inviter/employer/organisation. 4. Upon approval, applicant will be requested to submit passport for endorsement together with original receipt of payment. 5. Motivation letter stating among others, the reasons why a Namibian or Namibian service provider cannot be hired for the job or in the case of a visit, reason or purpose of such a visit. 6.  Proof that the post or services were advertised in local newspapers (attach list of unsuccessful  short listed Namibian candidates or service providers their qualifications and contact details). 7. Attach proof of current and previous status (visa or permit whether valid or expired if applicable). All copies must be certified. All documents must be in English or sworn translated into English.   • Validity of visas shall be 1-90 days only. • Confirmed return ticket.   • Proof of means of sustenance while in Namibia. • Proof of legal status of inviter/ business partner.   • A non-refundable N$80.00 handling fee is payable upon submission of application. NB: Applications for all Visas (Visitors’ Entry Permit for purposes of: • Holiday /Vacation. • Visiting friends or relatives. • Attending workshops (not as facilitator). • Attending meetings. • Exploring of business opportunities. • Medical treatment. • Any other purpose other than employment or work of any kind. Additionally kindly attach the following for work visa: 1. Proof of educational qualifications. 2. Proof of tender/contract. Fees: N$80.00 (non-refundable handling fee) N$390.00 upon approval. While we recognise the importance of the tourism sector, as well as other sectors important to our economy, we also remind our nationals and visitors that Namibia is a country guided by the rule of law. The laws we have in place serve a legitimate purpose and it is for that reason that they exist and must be complied with. Queries can be forwarded to the Public Relations Office, Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration, Tel: 061 2922169, 0811253674 email: sakeus.kadhikwa@mha.gov.na/ sakeus@gmail.com or alternatively visit our website: www.mha.gov.na. • Mr Sakeus Kadhikwa, Public Relations Officer, Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration, E-mail Address: sakeus.kadhikwa@mha.gov.na Namibian Correctional Service Query: Commissioner General of the Namibian Correctional Service, we need a pastor at the Walvis Bay Correctional Facility. We heard that there are two pastors at Evaristus Shikongo Correctional Facility. At least give one of them to us. Response: The Namibian Correctional Service (NCS) only appoints staff in the Religious Care and Chaplain positions if they possess the required qualifications. From the two officers referred to who are at E. Shikongo Correctional Facility, only one meets the requirements and is ordained as a pastor. Hence, the other pastor referred to cannot be appointed as a Religious Care or Chaplain since he doesn’t meet the requirements. Query: Commissioner General of the Namibian Correctional Service, what is the logic of sending officers for studies and after they graduate, it takes years for them to be appointed in vacant posts. Don’t you think that is a complete waste of resources? Response: The Namibian Correctional Service, over these past years has supported the capacity development of its staff through financing tertiary studies and granting study leave particularly to those that are pursuing fields essential to its mandate. The Department however would like to make it clear that the logic behind sending people for tertiary studies is not necessarily to promote staff, but to build capacity. Hence, staff should not always expect that they will be appointed in higher positions after completing studies. However, when funds are available and there are vacant positions, staff will be appointed or promoted into those positions. • Eveline January, Deputy Commissioner, Office: Media and Public Relations, Namibian Correctional Service, E-mail Address: Eveline.January@ncs.gov.na
New Era Reporter
2017-08-22 11:35:10 1 years ago

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