KEETMANSHOOP: Seventy people from the village of Vaalgras received 10 nanny goats each from the German Special Initiative Programme last Thursday.
Vaalgras is situated 60 kilometres east of Keetmanshoop.
Former Member of Parliament Willem Konjore, who is now the Secretary of the Vaalgras Traditional Authority, told Nampa today that 35 billy goats were also disctributed amongst the 70 beneficiaries, with two people ‘sharing’ one billy goat.
The beneficiaries are expected to hand 10 nanny goats and one billy goat back to the programme in three years’ time, and these will then be further distributed to other beneficiaries.
Konjore said the 70 beneficiaries set to receive goats in three years’ time have already been selected.
The beneficiaries are people who do not own any goats, or those who own less than 50 goats.
When asked whether any critique has been directed at the process, Konjore said politicians in the region have accused the traditional authority of “robbing” members of the community by giving them 10 goats instead of 20.
Initially, the beneficiaries in all regions were supposed to receive 20 goats each, but the traditional authorities and the steering committees were given the right to reduce this number based on the number of residents in need of goats.
“We decided to give them 10 goats because we want to accommodate a lot of people; this was done and agreed to in consultation with the community. Our people did not complain, they are happy and we are convinced that we did the right thing,” he explained.
The Vaalgras Traditional Authority Secretary also told this news agency that some of the goats have started showing signs of sickness.
Officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry arrived in Vaalgras on Thursday to give farmers there advice on how to treat these sicknesses.
“Our expectations are that the German government will give us more money for more goats over the next few years so that a lot of our people can receive goats. In the meantime, we will continue distributing the ones we have as they reproduce,” he promised.
In 2005, the government of the Federal Republic of Germany proposed a special initiative in which they undertook to commit about N.dollars 160 million which would be disbursed over a period of three to five years.
The initiative is meant for development projects for communities that had “historic ties” with the German colonial government such as the Nama, Damara, Herero and the San.
Distribution in the Karas Region will continue at the villages of Blouwes, Bethanie and Berseba next week.