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Farmers evicted from grazing area in Sesfontein

2023-03-31  Loide Jason

Farmers evicted from grazing area in Sesfontein

 SESFONTEIN - About 50 farmers who migrated to Sesfontein for illegal grazing were recently served with eviction papers to leave with immediate effect. 

For at least seven years, the Kunene region has been experiencing severe drought. Some farmers were thus forced to drive their animals to other areas within the region for better grazing. 

The most impacted areas are Opuwo Urban, Opuwo Rural, Epupa, Khorixas and Sesfontein. 

New Era was reliably informed that those farmers moved into the area without securing proper documentation from the traditional authority, and as a result they were taken to court. “When they came here, they had no permission. They were asked to leave the area, but refused. The matter was taken to court through my office with the support of the conservancy. They were now served with a court order, and some have moved. Those who refused were now served with an eviction order,” said chief of the Nami- Daman Traditional Community in Sesfontein, Jeremia Gaobaeb. 

He added that the court ruled in favour of the traditional authority and conservancy. 

“We are all affected by the persistent drought and we too have livestock, just like them. At least the little they could have done is to seek permission from us and venture into a thorough conversation, and see how we can help them. But what they did was they just showed up with their livestock without a signal,” Gaobaeb continued. 

The traditional leader noted that Sesfontein is very dry, and needs government’s intervention to mitigate the drought. 

One of the affected farmers is Kakeke Mbinge, who said he was forced to move his animals and all his belongings from the area. 

“Our animals and some people are suffering and going nowhere, while some are at Opuwo. We are in distress,” he lamented. 

Mbinge said his family was told to vacate the area because they were grazing in a conservancy area.

The constituency councillor for the area also confirmed that this was resolved by the court, as livestock were grazing in the wild animals’ grazing area. As a result, there are human-wildlife conflicts, especially with the presence of lions and elephants in the area. “The lions and elephants come from concessions at Hobatere, Palmwag and Hoanib, and damage properties. Hence, the government, through the environment ministry, needs to increase the amount they compensate people with for livestock losses. Just imagine, the ministry pays N$300 per cow killed by a lion,” he stated. 

2023-03-31  Loide Jason

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