Guest Contributor | Jan 17, 2023 | 0
Parliamentarians tour the Kunene Region to inspect progress of the EIF-funded projects
The parliamentary standing committee on natural resources recently toured the mountainous and vast Kunene region to inspect progress, assess the impact of climate change, and familiarize themselves with the Green Climate Fund (GCF) funded projects.
The parliamentary standing committee team led by Chairperson Tjekero Tweya started with a consultative meeting at Khorixas with local authority leaders.
According to a press statement by the Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia (EIF), these projects are currently being implemented by the EIF and the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform (MAWLR) in the Kunene region.
At the meeting, Mayor Lena /Gaeses applauded the government for aligning itself with international conventions on climate change.
She cited that the move has paved the way for direct investments to restore the region’s agricultural sector. Over the years, the effects of persistent droughts crippled the Kunene region.
“Our farmers have experienced heavy livestock losses and the scorching heat waves have made crop production a mammoth challenge,” she said.
Meanwhile, in addressing climate-driven challenges for the region, the MAWLR in conjunction with the EIF is implementing a N$130,000,000 project titled “Improving Rangeland and Ecosystem Management Practices of Smallholder Farmers Under Conditions of Climate Change (IREMA Kunene).
Manager: Corporate Communications at EIF, Lot Ndamanomhata said the project has now delivered tangible results in Sesfontein, Fransfontein, and the Warmquelle areas through its various interventions.
“In the Fransfontein settlement, the GCF has invested over twelve million in the upgrading of the 16 hectares Fransfontein community garden situated 27km north of Khorixas,” he said.
According to Ndamanomhata, the infrastructure features at this garden include the installation of a 400m3 water reservoir, rehabilitation of two boreholes, bulk water pipelines, a solar plant, drip irrigation systems, a shade net, and a solar-powered electric fence to deter marauding elephants from invading the property. He added that the garden is currently under production, with the bumper harvest expected during the third week of October this year.
Further, project manager, Mirjam Kaholongo informed members of the standing committee that the garden is expected to produce fresh produce for both its own consumption and for the market. “Standing committee member, Gothard Kandume, who is also from the area, thanked the government and the EIF for making resources available to uplift the livelihood of members of the Fransfontein community who he said were living in abject poverty,” said the EIF spokesperson.
From Fransfontein, the group travelled to Warmquelle, where the EIF has developed and operationalized what is soon to become a Climate-Smart Learning Center in the Kunene region. The center showcases best agricultural practices and will transfer knowledge to the communities so that they are able to produce food at the household level despite the challenges of climate change, Ndamanomhata added.
“The center has seven greenhouses, one fresh produce storage facility, staff accommodation, solar-powered pumps, a dam, and bulk pipelines for open irrigation. The parliamentarians’ committee members reflected on the complexities of the work on the ground and expressed satisfaction with the installation of the greenhouses in general. They then proceeded to Opuwo, Eenhana, Rundu, Katima Mulilo, and Karabusrg for similar visits.”
The EIF with capital investments from the Green Climate Fund is currently undertaking projects worth more than N$540 million dollars in the country. “Once completed, the project will have a huge transformative impact on the livelihood of Namibians in drought-stricken regions,” concluded Ndamanomhata.