NCUMCARA – The Ministry of Forests, in collaboration with the Development Bank of Germany, last week inaugurated 11 community forestry facilities built at a cost of N $ 22 million in the two regions of Kavango as well as in the Zambezi and Otjozondjupa.
Construction was carried out in the community forests of Likweterera and Cuma in the Kavango East region. As for Kavango West, the facilities were built in the community forests of Ncumucara, Kahenge and Katope respectively. In Zambezi, facilities were built in the community forests of Sikanjambuka, Zilitene, Kwando, Lubuta and Sachona while in Otjozondjupa it was in the community forest / conservation of Ondjou and Nyae Nyae.
Facilities include offices, storage facilities and craft shops.
“Today marks a historic moment as we gathered here in the Ncumcara Community Forest to witness the inauguration of 11 community forest facilities in different parts of the country. Exactly five years ago, we commissioned a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of community forestry facilities here. , and five years later, we are here to inaugurate these facilities, ”said Minister of Environment, Forests and Tourism Pohamba Shifeta.
He said his ministry, together with KFW, a German development bank, through the Namibia community forest phase two project, had supported the construction of community forest facilities.
“Construction of all facilities has been completed at a total cost of N $ 22,118,582.49. program, ”noted Shifeta.
The overall objective of community forestry programs is to empower local communities by transferring forest resource management rights, to benefit from related revenues as well as employment opportunities.
“This fully complements Namibia’s national development goals of reducing poverty, creating jobs and improving environmental and ecological sustainability. Likewise, it aims to strengthen resource use rights. traditional and customary, ”the politician continued.
The community forest program is part of the Community Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) project which aims to empower rural communities to sustainably manage, conserve and use forest resources.
Community forests function as grazing areas for livestock, livestock, habitat for wildlife, and a source of income and social security for rural populations. Protected community forests therefore provide a basis for maintaining the customary way of life at the subsistence level and could potentially improve the level of general prosperity.
At the inauguration, Kavango West Governor Sirkka Ausiku encouraged all community forest management organizations and surrounding communities to embrace the new facilities and protect them from vandalism. She further called on the ministry to provide capacity to the management committees of these forests.
“Our community forests face many problems including veld fires, illegal logging and lack of capacity to manage their projects. So my appeal to you, Honorable Minister, is to support them through training, ”Ausiku added.