President Hage Geingob meets with Erongo’s people at Swakopmund

Sharlien Tjambari

The prevailing drought that has its grips on most regions of Namibia, including Erongo, has been under the spotlight during a meeting on Thursday between inhabitants of the region and President Hage Geingob. 

During the meeting the Prime Minister Saara Kuukongelwa-Amadhila said research have determined some 4500 households in the Region are in need of drought aid. Although pledges have been received from private institutions and individuals, the aid is not enough.

President Geingob listens to residents of Omatjete

The drought is laying in heavily among the communities of Omatjete in Erongo’s Daures Constituency. Not only has poor rainfall resulted in a lack of grazing, but underground water tables are dropping and boreholes are running low or dry.

The traditional leader of the Zeraeua Traditional Authority, Chief Manase Zeraeua, briefed Namibia’s Head of State Dr. Hage Geingob in Swakopmund on Friday over the woes the community of Omatjete suffer. A meeting was held between State House and the Traditional Authority at the Swakopmund municipal council chambers.  “We urgently need water”, said the Chief. Adding six boreholes have dried up.  “We are severely affected by the ongoing drought”, Chief Zeraeua explained and urged Government to make available at least six hammer mills which can be used to produce animal feed from bushes. The Chief explained this will take the community forward with animal husbandry, but also create some jobs.Other issues Chief Zeraeua brought under the President’s attention were poor roads in the area (Omaruru, Omastjete and Okombahe areas) and service delivery, specifically the clinic and the police station.Land has been allocated for a police station at Omatjete a decade ago, still no police station is in existence there today. Human-wildlife conflict was also under discussion. In particular elephant which pose a threat to humans in the area as well as destroying property.

…..and a meeting after soldiers and livestock herders clash over grazing

Farmers and soldiers of the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) allegedly clashed over grazing on the farm Etiro, near the Karibib air force base. The farmers wanted their animals to graze on the farm, but was allegedly manhandled by soldiers who did not want them to have access to the farm, as this is military area.  The confrontation was under discussion in Swakopmund on Friday when President Geingob met with the Zeraeua Traditional Authority. The President summonsed the military to the meeting to hear both sides of the story. 

The Acting Chief of the Namibian Defence Force, Air Vice-Marshall Martin Pinehas, denied the alle-gations and said no civilians or farmers were beaten. He made it clear the public won’t be safe on this farm, as there are military-related installations and equipment.  The President decided to task the Prime Minister, Saara Kuukongelwa-Amadhila to take the matter up with the communities affected.

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