The Namibia-German Special Initiative Programme (NGSIP) through the National Planning Commission (NPC) touched the hearts of 52 members of the San families in the Aminuis district by donating 175heads of prized cattle to help ease poverty. A thorough analysis of the grazing assessment combined with livestock training for the beneficiaries was provided before the handing over. This livestock distribution is one component of the NGSIP which is aimed at developing community-driven projects in rural areas of Namibia.
At a special ceremony, the Minister of Presidential Affairs, Frans Kapofi and his delegation werewelcomed at Corridor 13 Settlement Auction Pens on 19 August, Aminuis Constituency by cheering and ululating San, clad in a mixture of traditional and western attire. Aminuis Constituency is a cluster of small settlements in the remote eastern part of the Omaheke Region of Namibia, located about 500 km east of Windhoek. Aminuis is the district capital of the Aminuis electoral constituency. “This morning we witness yet another practical step taken by our Government and the German Government to combat poverty and empower our communities,” Kapofi said at the handing over ceremony. Kapofi said, although the Government declared an all-out war against poverty, popular participation remains a key imperative in the collective efforts to bring about social prosperity and sustainable livelihood for those at the periphery. The minister warned the beneficiaries to refrain from selling or disposing of the livestock without the due processes having been followed. “I urged the members of the communities and the Veterinary Department to keep a close eye on the livestock and to give technical advice to the beneficiaries in support of this worthy undertaking,” he stressed. He also advised them not to fight over the livestock. Most of the beneficiaries were present, and they walked away with their livestock after signing a soft contract with the !Xoo San Technical Committee.
According to the Deputy Ministry of Economic and National Planning, Lucia Iipumbu an assessment done by the NGSIP on the projects indicates that there is potential for farmers to reap the benefits as envisaged. “This is but one project among many that attests to the importance of the bilateral cooperation we have with the Government of Germany,” the Deputy Minister stressed. Iipumbu further thanked the Government of Germany for the assistance rendered to date through various projects under NGSIP. “The GRN is committed to making sure that such assistance is put to good use in an effort to make a difference in the livelihoods of the community members in the regions aforementioned, social and economic living conditions of the Namibian populace and any other challenges being faced by our country,” she said.
The event was also attended by Annegret Al-Janabi, the Counsellor for Development Cooperation at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany. She expressed her wish that Namibians and Germans “together find a common language of remembrance and a way forward to shape a Namibian-German future in dignity and cooperation.” Al-Janabi went on to say that “the project we are here to witness at Corridor 13 in the Aminuis Constituency is one of many NGSIP projects that have been selected to benefit members of Namibia’s San community.” “I hope that it is through projects and events like this that Namibia’s rural communities will be supported,” Al-Janabi added.
Councillor of the Aminuis Constituency, Honorable Erwin Uanguta, in his welcoming note emphasized that the NGSIP support to the constituency should be seen as an effort to bring development closer to the people. “I would like to see a scenario whereby the recipients of this generous assistance are utilizing it as a stepping stone for the betterment of their livelihood in order to break the shackles of poverty that confronted us in Aminuis Constituency,” he said. Beneficiaries were reminded about the contract they all signed with NGSIP. In terms of the contract, these cattle are part of a revolving scheme, whereby each beneficiary is required to pass on at least one off-spring to the next beneficiary in order to sustain the programme. According to Uanguta, NGSIP provided 330 goats to the same community in the past. At the same occasion, an Aminuis stud breeder, Nichklas Mbingeneeko, donated a young boar goat ram from his Skuilhoek Stud farm to Chief Henrik Martin. Chief Martin is the designated person to succeed late Chief Sophia Jacobs, who passed away earlier this year. “If you empower the Chief, ultimately we empower his followers too,” Mbingeneeko said. According to NGSIP programme Manager, Matthew /Goagoseb this is not the first time that the NGSIP donated livestock to the San community. San communities at Skoonheid, and in the Corridors already benefitted. “Moreover, those in Otjinene, Gam and Eiseb Block are still to benefit soon,” he confirmed.