Internal Affairs

Hai//Om San community annual conference underway at Otjiwarongo

Summary

More than 30 traditional leaders and community members from the Hai//Om San areas of Outjo, Tsumeb, Otavi and Grootfontein are gathered in a two-day conference at Otjiwarongo to discuss matters related to ancestral land ownership.The San community memb…

More than 30 traditional leaders and community members from the Hai//Om San areas of Outjo, Tsumeb, Otavi and Grootfontein are gathered in a two-day conference at Otjiwarongo to discuss matters related to ancestral land ownership.

The San community members in attendance are mostly from the traditional leadership of the Kai!Khoen, #Haub, and Gogara Hai//Om San traditional authorities.

Traditional leader, Gaob Willem /Aib from Outjo officially opened the conference which started on Saturday morning at Otjiwarongo, saying he was thrilled to see his fellow Hai//Om San members from different places attending the conference.

“Your presence here is very important as this conference will discuss the future of your next generation,” he said.

/Aib stated that most of the Hai//Om San community members originate from the areas of Etosha, where the national and private game parks have established themselves for commercial and tourism activities.

He said that issues of the ancestral land claims and land rights need government’s attention as some communities like the Hai//Om San do not have any communal land where they can settle and live as their villages.

/Aib asked as to why since Independence are the Hai//Om San community members still do not have any communal land in Namibia.

He then urged the youthful Hai//Om San community members attending the conference to strongly advocate for the communal land ownership or continue calling on government to give back their ancestral land, which is found in the Etosha national park.

“If this landless situation continues, then start up a political party that would fight for your ancestral land rights and also represent you in Parliament, where laws are made,' he said, adding that the current laws are not in their favour.

He then concluded by calling on the traditional leaders and community members present at the conference to participate actively.

The conference, which ends on Sunday, is expected to formulate resolutions around the ancestral land issues affecting the Hai//Om San communities in general.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency