EU boosts communal land verification mapping

June 05, 2023

The European Union (EU) has donated 10 vehicles worth N$6.5 million to the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform meant to facilitate the mapping and verification of communal land rights in Namibia.

The vehicles are part of the Programme for Communal Land Development, aimed at addressing the backlog of 96,810 unregistered communal lands.

EU Ambassador to Namibia Sinikka Antila emphasised the importance of acquiring the vehicles adding: “I have realised that the progress on this front has been very slow in recent years. I am assuming that this is mostly due to the unavailability of vehicles, and hence acquiring these 10 vehicles is very crucial for this exercise”. 

The overall objective of the Programme for Communal Land Development is to improve the livelihoods of rural communities by developing communal land and integrating them into the mainstream economy. 

“These vehicles will be used to expedite the security of tenure for more than 70% of subsistence farmers who are now using communal land and to facilitate the mapping and verification of communal land rights in Namibia,” added Ambassador Antila. 

During the official handover ceremony, Minister of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform Calle Schlettwein explained that the donated vehicles will support key activities related to the implementation of the five result areas of the Programme for Communal Land Development. 

He said the first result relates to verified and mapped existing customary Land Rights and Leaseholds in communal areas that are registered, secured in the administration system for communal lands and issued to the beneficiaries.

Schlettwein said the second result includes participatory Integrated Regional Land Use Plans (IRLUPs) and Local Level Participatory Plans are developed in accordance with MAWLR standards.

Adding that the third result relates to core infrastructure investments identified through the participatory planning processes have been implemented and improved the conditions for commercial land-based development in designated areas. 

“Result four: Programme beneficiaries receive advisory services to tap into the improved physical environment and successfully pursue more commercially driven modes of production and farm productivity increases. Result five: The MAWLR has increased the capacity to assume its mandate for the management and development of communal lands,” added the Minister.

Meanwhile, the EU ambassador to Namibia announced that the EU support towards the Programme for Communal Land Development was terminated on 31 March 2023 with the budget nearly depleted.

“We are happy to announce that the balance of the EU contribution to the PCLD budget, €13,500,000.00, committed to the implementation agreement with KfW and the Government of the Republic of Namibia is almost Zero,” she said.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 06 June 2023 18:53

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