Omaheke poverty worries Ueitele

GOBABIS; The Omaheke Regional Governor, Festus Ueitele has expressed concern about the level of poverty in his region.

Ueilete said the high levels of poverty in the region is a worrying factor given the abundant wealth in livestock farming of which the region has become synonymous for.

He said the fact that Omaheke is ranked the third poorest out of 14 regions is a cause for serious concern, as over 70 per cent of Namibia’s entire meat export is derived from this region.

The Omaheke Governor was speaking at the Metsweding village, some 95 kilometres north-east of Gobabis during the handing over of donated cattle to the community there.

The cattle were donated by the Omaheke Regional Council through the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development’s Regional council’s Regional Specific Action Plan (RSAP).

The programme is aimed at addressing poverty, unemployment and food security in Namibia’s rural areas by assisting community projects geared towards the same purpose.

Ueitele said it was high time the inhabitants of the Omaheke Region promote agriculture as a formidable economic means of survival, as opposed to it merely being a form of subsistence for them.

“The lives of Omaheke’s inhabitants have to reflect the agricultural production and business opportunities in the agricultural industry, as agriculture remains an important role player in our economy.

The contribution of the sector, directly and indirectly, to our Gross Domestic Product is very significant,” he said.

Ueitele is of the opinion that a diversification of economic activities within the agricultural sector, and the change in the way business is conducted within the sector will go a long way in securing that the region reaps the best rewards from its supposedly thriving agricultural sector.

“Our region needs serious diversification of our livelihood in order to cope with the changing economy driven by globalisation, climate change, international economic monopoly and fuel prices amongst others,” he said.

According to the latest records from the Namibia Statistics Agency, Omaheke draws over 64 per cent of its livelihood from agriculture, forestry and fishing – of which the livestock sector is the main economic driver.