Patrolling at Ncumcara community forestry ineffective

MILE 20: Patrolling around the Ncumcara Community Forestry, situated some 30 kilometres south of Rundu, has been ineffective this year due to lack of transport.

Ncumcara is one of five community forests in the Kavango West region, and was gazetted in 2002.

It was established to amongst others manage and utilise forest products sustainably, control forest fires, and curb illegal tree harvesting.

The patrol around the 15 000 hectares of the forestry has not taken place since the beginning of this year.

Paulus Kampanza, one of the Ncumcara community forestry committee members, told Nampa on Tuesday the forestry committees which have been tasked with patrolling the community forests, have been unable to carry out their task because they don’t have a vehicle of their own.

Kampanza stated that the committee previously hired private vehicles to patrol the area, but they stopped as they have no funds to pay for private vehicles any longer.

The community forestry committee member is worried that unscrupulous members may take advantage of the committee’s handicap.

The acting chairperson of Ncumcara Community Forestry, Joseph Ndjamba added that the centre is also in need of funds to establish a workshop which will train unemployed youth and those who are out of school around the area in carpentry and woodcarving skills.

Basket-making and wood-carving activities are currently conducted in an open space under a tree, and during the rainy season such activities are suspended.

“We are also in urgent need of a market place where we can sell our products, because the centre is too small,” said Ndjamba.

The centre is used by women and men who make baskets and wooden products such as doors, window frames, tables and chairs amongst others.

The other four gazzeted community forests in the two regions are Ncamagoro, Mbeyo, Ncaute and Hans Kanyinnga.