Germany Spent N$274 Million On Genocide Communities

The German government has spent over N$274 million on communities that suffered under German colonial rule since the Namibian-German Special Initiative Programme (NGSIP) commenced in 2008.

This is according to the latest statistics availed to New Era by the National Planning Commission (NPC) upon enquiry.

Kunene Region received the lion’s share of NGSIP funding with an allocation of N$71 million for building new school hostels, renovating and building new schools, digging new boreholes, internet cafeacutes, rehabilitating festival centres and for livestock.

Omaheke Region, which received the second largest slice of the pie – just a little over N$69 million – used the funds mainly to rehabilitate and dig new boreholes and it also received livestock. The third largest beneficiary was Otjozondjupa Region, which got about N$58 million and utilised or is still to use the money for water rehabilitation, especially in Tsumkwe.

The report indicated that Dacircures Constituency in the Erongo Region was awarded about N$24 million mainly to drill new boreholes, while Aminuis Constituency in Omaheke Region used its share of close to N$22 million for rehabilitating boreholes, while it also received livestock.

According to the NPC, the NGSIP has covered all affected areas. Seven regions, 24 constituencies, traditional authorities and all the targeted communities have benefitted from the programme one way or another. “Furthermore, communities have been undergoing continuous capacity building to support the sustainability of projects after the programme ended. The programme also has memoranda of understanding with several line ministries, regional councils and traditional authorities, which are all expected to take over different projects in terms of ownership and management once the programme has ended,” said Lynette Kozosi, the NGSIP programme administrator.

She added that the German government initially granted a sum of 20 million Euro for the programme but in 2013 additional funds of 11 million Euro were granted “to cover up shortfalls in project budgets caused by delays in implementing initial requests.”

She was adamant the money has been, and continues to be, used for its intended purpose to improve the social and economic living conditions of communities who previously suffered under German colonial rule in the identified areas. Chiefs in Kaoko in the Kunene Region have complained their communities did not benefit from development aid disbursed by the German government through the NPC to Namibian communities affected by the genocide.

But Kozosi said NGSIP is not a reparation programme but rather a rural development programme targeted at areas where communities that suffered under German colonial rule are based.

She said communities were identified to get schools and hostels upgraded and in the Kunene about 16 schools are being constructed, although there have been implementation challenges regarding the initially identified contractor.

“We, the (NGSIP) are in the process of finding several contractors to finish those projects in the Kunene Region,” she further said.

She said the nature of NGSIP was explained to the various communities and traditional authorities and they were given the opportunity to submit development projects that they regard as most important for their communities. NGSIP was supposed to come to an end in October 2014, but it will be extended to allow for the completion of delayed projects.

The communities were selected from 24 constituencies in Erongo, Hardap, Karas, Khomas, Kunene, Omaheke and Otjozondjupa.

The affected communities are the Nama, Ovaherero, Ovambanderu, Damara, Ovahimba and San who suffered during the 1904 to 1908 genocide in which thousands lost their lives at the hands of German troops.

Total breakdown of Namibian-German Special Initiative Programme (NGSIP) budgets for the regions below include concept and detailed design, implementation, management, supervision services and contingency costs:

Kunene Region N$71.1 million

Erongo Region N$37.9 million

Otjozondjupa Region N$58.3 million

Omaheke Region N$69.2 million

Khomas Region N$428 338

Hardap Region N$9.7 million

Karas Region N$27.5 million

Source : New Era