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LIKWATERERA: The San community at the Likwaterera resettlement farm in the Kavango East Region could start farming before the end of the year.

The community recently received 10 oxen from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister to assist them with ploughing. They had been waiting to receive the oxen since last year, but the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister could not provide the oxen earlier as there was no budgetary provision for it.

The San Development Program falls under that office.

The community has not been farming since 2012 due to a lack of farming implements, oxen, and seeds, amongst other things.

The more than 120 members of the community, most of whom are originally from the villages of Mazana and Kambowo in the Rundu Rural East Constituency, were relocated to Likwaterera – some 75 kilometres away – in 2010 by the Kavango Regional Council.

This was aimed at getting them to actively participate in farming activities in order to become self-sustainable.

Deputy Prime Minister Marco Hausiku visited the San resettlement farm in July this year and assured them that they would receive 10 oxen this year so they could start farming.

Before the Deputy PM’s visit, they said they doubted that they would start farming before the end of the year due to the long delay in the arrival of the oxen.

The Rundu Rural East Constituency Councillor Michael Shikongo confirmed to this agency on Friday that the oxen were delivered to the San community some two months ago.

The Rundu Rural East Constituency Councillor says he has since encouraged the community to start clearing their mahangu fields in preparation for ploughing, a call they have wholeheartedly heeded.

“Once the community members start ploughing they will become self-dependant because they will be able to produce food for themselves instead of depending on Government’s drought relief aid,” Shikongo said.

He also indicated that this means they will not abandon the resettlement area in search of food elsewhere.

Members of the small community currently own eight ploughs and hoes, which they will share during ploughing. The ploughs were donated by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister in early 2011.

During the Deputy PM’s visit to the resettlement farm in July this year, he told the San community that the livestock could not be purchased last year because there was no budgetary provision for it.

The San community has been willing to start farming all along as they also do not want to be dependent on Government’s food aid relief only. Likwaterera leader Agnes Kapango however indicated that they were reluctant to clear their fields as they were afraid they would not receive the oxen.

The San currently have three 50 kilogramme (kg) bags of maize seeds given to them by the Kavango Regional Council.

Some members of the community have in the meantime opted to work for other people in their mahangu fields because they are unable to work in their own mahangu fields.

Many San people have never owned livestock due to their nomadic lifestyle. The San relocated their households to Likwaterera after a promise that Government would assist them with farming implements so they can move away from working for others as a means of survival. The community had their only harvest of mahangu, maize and beans in 2011 – one year after being relocated to the area. In 2012, they did not produce any food, also citing a lack of farming implements.