Khomas governor urges urgent action on land acquisition

Hertta-maria Amutenja

Khomas Regional Governor Laura Mcleod-Katjirua, has called for urgent land allocation in the Khomas region, stressing that the current situation of land scarcity poses significant challenges for the region’s growing population.

Speaking at the ministerial annual planning workshop of Ministry of Agriculture, Water, and Land Reform on Monday, Mcleod-Katjirua, said only 18 farms acquired since Namibia’s independence. Therefore, there is a critical need for additional land acquisition efforts within the region.

The governor, underlined the necessity for swift intervention by the Ministry to address the escalating demand for land allocation. She specifically mentioned the !Khomani Traditional Authority’s request for land allocation.

Urging the ministry to expedite the process to alleviate pressure on existing resources.

“This number is insignificant to the population expansion of the Khomas Region. Meaning the Ministry has purchased only 14 farms according to the Commercial Land Reform Act since independence. My office receives pressure from communities on land allocation, and I don’t have answers to questions about farm purchase and land allocation as this function was not delegated to the Khomas Regional Council, during the delegation phase of the decentralisation process,” she said.

The governor proposed a hands-on approach, suggesting that the Ministry target the acquisition of at least five farms annually within the national budget, with a long-term goal of acquiring 50 farms to meet the region’s land demand.

“If your budget permits we could target at least 5 farms each financial year within the national rolling budget, targeting at least 50 farms, so that we address land demand in the region. The shortage of land in the region is critical, and evident and can be justified by the alarming number of people farming in urban areas (boundaries of the city), and the overcrowded no-grazing areas of Satanslaught. Mix settlement, Baumgartsbrunn and daily dumped generational farm workers in the various corridors of our vast Khomas region,” she stressed.

Minister of Agriculture, Water, and Land Reform, Carl Schlettwein, reiterated the government’s commitment to land reform and redistribution.

“Land purchase/ acquisition and Ongoing resettlement remain critical for our country’s socio-economic transformation. This program aims to rectify the past imbalances of land distribution and redistribute agricultural and commercial land to eligible landless Namibians. Therefore, this program should continue to receive the necessary support at all levels of management,” he said.

Schlettwein outlined the Ministry’s achievements in land acquisition, including the recent acquisition of twelve farms totaling more than 58 000 hectares at a cost of more than N$ 101 million, allocated to 23 beneficiaries.

Additionally, Schlettwein highlighted the Ministry’s efforts in communal land development, emphasising the importance of water supply infrastructure for small-scale commercial farms in various regions.

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