Farmers’ relocation from Neckartal under spotlight

KEETMANSHOOP;  Plans to relocate about 10 communal farmers from the //Karas Region’s Snyfontein area to make way for the construction of the Neckartal Dam are at an advanced stage.

This was confirmed to Nampa by the chairperson of the Neckartal Task Force Committee and director of //Karas Rural Water Supply, Leopold Niipare on Tuesday.

Niipare revealed that some of the affected farmers will be relocated to Droogputs village situated north-east of Snyfontein, while others will be moved to an area still to be decided on.

“Relocation plans are at an advanced stage. In fact, there is a meeting tomorrow to discuss the matter and give the right answers to those farmers,” he said.

The Neckartal Task Force Committee, officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) in Keetmanshoop, and /Hai-/Khaua Traditional Authority which Snyfontein falls under, will convene on Wednesday to discuss details pertaining to the relocation.

All information regarding the date of relocation, the type of compensation asked by the affected farmers and whether the ministry agrees to the compensation will be provided at the meeting.

The same meeting is also expected to discuss the compensation sought by the /Hai-/Khaua authority for the communal land lost to the Neckartal project.

/Hai-/Khaua Chief Johannes Isaack on his part said he hopes all will go well as the farmers have waited for quite some time to hear where they will be relocated to and whether there will be any compensation.

“We were informed last year that this meeting would take place in November already but it was postponed, so I am happy that they actually agreed on a date. The farmers are losing livestock there, what I understand is that someone is killing their animals and selling meat to dam employees. I do not know how true this is,” the chief stated.

Isaack also told this news agency in December last year that they face challenges as two households which left the affected area before the construction of the dam started, have returned with the intention of receiving compensation.

“I do not know how the ministry is going to deal with the people who returned simply because they want to benefit from the compensation, but we have to sit and find solutions to these things,” he previously noted.

Neckartal is situated some 40 kilometres north-west of Keetmanshoop near the Fish River in the Snyfontein area of the Berseba village, and will take up about 5 000 hectares of communal land.

Agriculture Minister John Mutorwa launched the first work on the construction of the N.dollars 2, 8 billion Neckartal Dam project in November last year.

At the moment, Baby Face company is at the site busy constructing the three buildings which will serve as accommodation for the 1 000 employees who will be employed at the dam project. The accommodation is expected to be completed in four months’ time.

Neckartal will be used to collect water from the Fish River, and this the water will be used for green schemes aimed at improving food security and creating employment in the region and the country as a whole.