LÜDERITZ – Unemployed residents in !Nami#Nüs Constituency, //Kharas Region were thrown a lifeline to take ownership of a self-sustainable agricultural project outside Lüderitz since 2014.
Speaking to New Era, Lukas Nguvenjengua, one of the beneficiaries, said they grow various crops such as lucerne, cabbage, spinach, carrots, tomatoes, onions, green pepper and pumpkin with water they extract from a nearby sewerage plant.
“We sell some of the crops to the locals in town whilst also being left with some for own consumption,” Nguvenjengua explained. He elaborated that their income depend on selling vegetables, lucerne and nearby grass that they cut, to farmers suffering from the drought.
“One of the main challenges is to expand our crop production, but we are hampered by other people who have been availed some of the plots but do not utilise it,” Nguvenjengua emphasised.
Another obstacle is that they do not have access to electricity and ablution facilities. As recommendation Nguvenjengua suggested that more plots be availed so that other people can also come on board to develop this source of income to its fullest potential.
He asked that they be provided with two milking cows to increase their income by selling milk to locals. When probed for comment, !Nami#Nüs Constituency Councillor Jan Scholtz said that approval has already been granted to the beneficiaries for the services they lack as well as the request for milking cows. “Plots have been allocated to religious organisations, unemployed youth and organisations supporting physically challenged persons, but these people are not utilising the land, posing a developmental challenge to government’s concerted efforts,” he said as a concern.
Scholtz said that a six-hectare piece of land is still available to be developed and he encouraged residents to come on board. The constituency office in collaboration with the Lüderitz Town Council, //Kharas Regional Council and the Institute for Management and Leadership Training identified the development of a small-scale urban agriculture project below the sewerage works. The aim is to convert wasted water and land resources into a viable business venture through which not only jobs can be created and income generated for the community, but also for food production to provide for local demand.