Response to the objections raised in the press concerning the PCLD project in Tsumkwe West, Otjozondjupa Region.
In response to the recent media coverage on the Programme for Communal Land Development (PCLD) in Tsumkwe West, the Ministry of Land Reform (MLR), the EU Delegation to Namibia and the German Embassy Windhoek inform as follows:
High importance is given within the project to participatory modes of decision-making. The affected communities were strongly involved in project planning and no formal objection has been uttered throughout the process. The development of the 53,198 ha project area is in fact equally aimed at supporting Community Based Tourism (craft center, living museum, camp site) and investment in community crop field and means of utilization (infrastructure) – as required.
It must be emphasized that the MLR/ PCLD does not force any development on Namibian communities, and shall only implement consensus-based decisions. The highly participatory nature of the planning process remains open for inputs from the local community structures.
PCLD is a national programme implemented under the mandate of the MLR. The implementation is supported and partially funded jointly by EU and Germany through KfW Development Bank.
Key facts about the current draft investment plan
Share of investment volume going to:
- Tourism NAD 6,700,000
- Crop production NAD 500,000
- Solar water points and elephant proof installations NAD 9,900,000
- Number of beneficiaries: 135 San residents of the Aasvoëlnes community
- Area in which land rights are formalized and secured: 53,198 ha
- 10 solar boreholes
- Fencing and development of one model farm
- Craft and activity center
- San living Museum
- Rehabilitation and extension of community crop fields
- Provision of implements for cropping activities
An iterative process was followed, in which four potential sites in the larger Tsumkwe West area were assessed and analyzed. This was done together with the local community, !Kung Traditional Authority, N#a Jaqna Conservancy representatives and line ministries in October 2017. Criteria considered in this process included a focus on areas without known disputes, area with unexploited development potential, the availability of sufficient underground water, and areas with as yet limited or no infrastructure.
Detailed mapping of all existing land rights and existing infrastructure in the project area, as well as socio-economic and production data gathered in collaboration with local residents, was presented in a map analysis report and extensively discussed at community level. It is a cornerstone of the PCLDs implementation approach to avail as much information to the potential beneficiaries as possible, to enhance the decisions taken at public meetings.
A consensus decision was reached on 21 October 2017 to focus PCLD efforts on the Aasvoëlnes area. All of this is detailed in a site file, which has been availed to the public.
On the 29th June 2018 feedback meeting, the Chief of the !Kung Traditional Authority expressed her satisfaction with Local Level Participatory Planning process and would like the programe to continue until it is fully implemented for the benefit of her people in Tsumkwe West.
Once this process had been concluded, the site file (depicting all engagements, signed minutes of meeting decisions and lists of participation) and the draft investment plan were opened up to the public for scrutiny and validation. This process ran from 04/06/2018 to 12/06/2018; the information was broadcast by radio and the site-file and draft investment plans were made available to the public in the Traditional Authority’s office, the Ministry of Land Reform’s office, the Aasvoëlnes school Office.
More Information on this Programme is provided on the below PCLS Fact Sheet. Highlights include 120,000 land rights which have been issued nationally, close to 300,000 ha of communal land which have been developed for enhanced production (another 300,000 ha will soon be added to this figure), and 5,800 farmers have been trained.