OUTJO: Fifty-one Hai and Om San households at the Seringkop Government Resettlement Farm on Thursday received cattle from the Namibia-German Special Initiative Programme through the National Planning Commission (NPC).
Seringkop Resettlement Farm is situated some 95 kilometres north of Outjo in the Kunene Region, near the Etosha National Game Park.
Outjo Constituency Councillor, Abraham Job handed over two heifers to each of the 51 Hai and Om San community households at the farm.
Job said the Namibia-German Special Initiative Programme had delivered 103 heads of cattle to the Hai and Om San people in total – 102 heifers and a bull.
He explained that the initial plan was to allocate three cows to each beneficiary, in which case only 34 households would be able to benefit.
“Then we sat down with the technical committee of this programme here and discussed how best we could divide the 103 cattle so that they can benefit a larger number of our people,” he said.
After consultations with the community members, the Hai and Om San Technical Committee decided that two heifers would be allocated to each household.
The cattle were then numbered from one to 103 and these numbers were put in a box. Each beneficiary on the list had to pick two numbers for the box, and these numbers represented the animals which they were to receive.
Most of the beneficiaries were present, and they walked away with their livestock after signing a soft contract with the Hai and Om San Technical Committee.
Job explained to the beneficiaries that the soft contract which they signed meant that the two cows given to them will be allowed to produce just one calf each, before they will be taken away from them to benefit someone else.
He stressed that the cattle which were handed over on Thursday were not allocated to any beneficiary permanently.
“After the two calves that are born turn eight months old, the committee in charge of the programme will collect the mother cow and give it to someone else listed on the beneficiary master list.
The councillor said the main purpose of rotating the cattle among beneficiaries is to improve the livelihood of all Hai and Om San Namibian who have never owned livestock before.
Job warned them not to sell any of the cattle donated, adding that the animals were electronically ear-tagged and recorded in a veterinary livestock information database.
He also advised them not to fight over the livestock.
“I don’t want to hear of fights here at Seringkop over these livestock. If any of the cows become ill, lost or get killed by wild animals, then report the incident to us immediately,” he said.
The Hai and Om San Traditional Authority Chief, Chief Dawid and Khamuxab thanked the Namibian and German Governments on behalf of the beneficiaries.
He promised that the donated livestock will be carefully looked after, and he will see to it that there will be no fights over the livestock.
“First and foremost, I really thank our Namibian Government, and that of the Germans for this donation. We are very happy to receive cattle and I, as a Chief of this community, will make sure the livestock are taken care of,” he said.