The Namibian | October 17, 2019
OPUWO: Environment and tourism minister Pohamba Shifeta launched three new conservancies in Kunene region last week. The new conservancies are Otjindjerese in the Opuwo Urban constituency; Otjikongo in the Opuwo Rural constituency and Ombombo Masitu in the Epupa constituency.
Otjindjerese and Otjikongo were officially declared conservancies on 3 August 2018 in the Government Gazette, while Ombombo Masitu was declared and gazetted as a conservancy in 2014.
The conservancies have diverse wildlife, particularly elephants and kudus.
“Due to the commitment shown by rural communities, there has been a remarkable recovery and increase in wildlife populations, including key species such as lions, elephants and black rhinoceroses,” Shifeta said.
He explained the innovative strategies adopted by the government that have helped in increasing the wildlife, including the Community-Based Natural Resource Management Programme, which allows for the formation of communal conservancies, through which rural communities have gained rights over the management of wildlife and tourism.
The minister urged the members of the conservancies not to abuse conservancy property and to share the acquired profit with the community by investing in community-based projects such as building schools.
The chairperson of the Otjikaoko Traditional Authority, Iningirua Musaso, urged conservancy members to set their differences aside and work together for the benefit of all.
Otjindjerese conservancy chairperson Gerson Tjondu, who spoke on behalf of the three conservancies, pledged to grow the conservancies for the benefit of the entire region.
The Kunene region now has 38 conservancies.