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Some farmers along Neckartal dam yet to be relocated: Vries

Summary

At least 12 famers living along the Neckartal Dam in the ?Kharas Region are reportedly still waiting to be relocated and compensated for land lost due to the construction of the dam.This was said by PDM parliamentarian Diederik Vries on Thursday in the…

At least 12 famers living along the Neckartal Dam in the ?Kharas Region are reportedly still waiting to be relocated and compensated for land lost due to the construction of the dam.

This was said by PDM parliamentarian Diederik Vries on Thursday in the National Assembly, where he asked agriculture minister, Calle Schlettwein, when farmers will be relocated and compensated for the losses of physical structures they had erected and had to abandon.

“There were between 15 and 20 farmers around that area and only five of those have been relocated,” he said.

Vries further wanted to know when the ministry will facilitate the relocation of graves close to the dam to higher ground as the gravesite is submerged by water and also wanted to know if the dam area will be fenced off to preserve lives, as three boys have reportedly already drowned.

In response, Schlettwein offered condolences to family of the children who died as a result of the dam overflowing.

He further noted that to his knowledge and upon consultation, he was informed that all farmers have been relocated or compensated.

“All famers who had structures in the area are now inundated with water or where the dam is constructed had been consulted and as a result of the consultation, they have either been compensated or relocated. However, if the honourable member has reason to be believe this was not done sufficiently, I invite him to the ministry in order to determine if there are still individuals who were left out,” Schlettwein said.

“Throughout the process of planning and construction of the dam, government took a principled decision of inclusive and consultative process with community and stakeholders in the ?Kharas region,” he added.

He said the Governor of ?Kharas in consultation with the Prime Minister’s Office is also tasked to find out if there are other matters that need to be addressed regarding the affected communities.

Regarding relocation of graves, Schlettwein said government views the issue as sensitive and one that needs to be handled with care and sympathy.

He said the ministry and traditional authorities have agreed to work under the heritage council to erect a memorial tombstone in commemoration of those who have been buried at the submerged grave sites. He said they are awaiting a response from the council and stand ready to facilitate this process.

Source: Namibia Press Agency