Elephants are the biggest culprits when it comes to crop destruction (Pic. The Villager Newspaper)

NKURENKURU – Land Reform Minister UUTONI NUJOMA of NAMIBIA has called for the involvement of all citizens in the ongoing land debate in the TWO KAVANGO regions.

He has addressed delegates to a consultative meeting held in NKURENKURU, capital of the KAVANGO WEST Region in Northern NAMIBIA, 140 kilometres west of the border town of RUNDU.

Minister NUJOMA has told the gathering to discuss the upcoming SECOND National Land Conference the TWO regions can be the national breadbasket if people use farms optimally.

NBC News says hundreds of KAVANGO WEST residents have recently assembled in the NKURENKURU Town to deliberate on resettlement and settlement issues.

It says Minister NUJOMA has repeated his call for the repossession of underutilised land, which should be allocated to farmers able to produce food and create employment.

KAVANGO WEST Governor SIRKKA AUSIKU has opened the TWO-day-long conference hosted in her province.

She says she is concerned about the increased number of people illegally fencing off large tracts of land in communal areas, denying other residents grazing space in the process.

Governor AUSIKU has further used the occasion to inform Environment and Tourism Minister POHAMBA SHIFETA about the escalating human wildlife conflict in her region.

Her comments come amid reports saying there have often been violent encounters between wild animals and farmers.

Humans often react by killing the jumbos (Pic. NBC)

Farmers are fighting to protect their livelihoods, but the animals need freedom of movement; with elephants coming out as the most well-known contributors to crop damage.

KAVANGO WEST is a twin of KAVANGO EAST, both born out of the KAVANGO Region – formerly named the OKAVANGO before 1998.

The area falls under the KAVANGO-ZAMBEZI Transfrontier Conservation Area, KAZA, which is ONE of the largest conservation areas globally.

KAZA spanning the borders of ANGOLA, BOTSWANA, NAMIBIA, ZAMBIA, and ZIMBABWE, aims to sustain the protection of wildlife and contribute to the well-being of communities as well as their cultures.

However, producers from a number of villages in the KAVANGO WEST have reported cases of elephants destroying food barns in their homesteads in recent weeks.

Delegates have also been expecting the KAVANGO WEST consultations on the SECOND NAMIBIA National Land Conference to discuss the veterinary cordon fence, which restricts livestock movement, and the allocation of urban land./Sabanews/cam