Ministers Speech MEFT 18 October 22 Okongo

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Tuesday, 18 October 2022, 10:00, Okongo Community Forest,

Ohangwena Region


Director of Ceremonies, Governor of the Ohangwena region; Honorable Walde Ndevashiya Honorable Councilor of Okongo Constituency:

Honorable Lebbius Efraim

Executive Director of the Ministry of Environment Forestry and Tourism,

Mr. Teofilus Nghitila Traditional Authorities Chairperson of Okongo Community Forest Distinguished guests;

Members of the media;


Ladies and Gentlemen,

Over the past three weeks, I had a privilege of handing over quite a number of successful climate change interventions in the Erongo, Zambezi and Kavango regions being implemented by the Environmental Investment Fund. It is therefore my distinct pleasure to yet be present here today and officially handover, yet another successful climate change project entitled “Hydroponics Farming systems in Okongo Community Forest”.


It is always pleasing to note that our national resource mobilization efforts on climate finance are bearing fruits and the handover of this productive community projects is a demonstration that such resources are reaching the intended beneficiaries.


The Government of the Republic of Namibia through the Ministry of Environment Forestry and Tourism is working in the quest of fighting climate change through established national policy framework like the implementation of the National Climate Change policy, and its Climate Change Strategy, and the National Determine Contribution (NDC). The Environmental Investment Fund has been instrumental towards contributing to this attainment as a national special purpose vehicle in accessing climate finance.


Ladies and Gentlemen,

The status quo caused by climate change has negatively affected Namibia as a country, and the Ohangwena regions specifically, thus making it one of the poorest in the country. Subsequently, nearly 70% of Namibia’s population is directly dependent on subsistence agriculture and livestock farming, presenting a national impediment to fight climate change as it presents a serious challenge to our community livelihoods.


Our country is experiencing an economic backslide. According to analysts, this can be attributed to many domestic and global factors such as low productivity levels, wars in Ukraine and others. The agricultural sector’s performance requires joint effort to assist in keeping the country’s economy afloat and stabilise national food security.


We remain steadfast and resolute in the pursuit of our ultimate objectives of economic emancipation and concomitant prosperity. This is realised through rural development investment, diversification of livelihood, rural employment creation amongst our youth in guest of alleviating poverty.


Ladies and Gentlemen

Over and above the many challenges that young people are facing such as lack of access to credit and finance, lack of employment, among others, there is an issue of bad perception by the youth into agriculture. This negative perception has blinded most of our youth and thus they associate the sector with hardship and old age driven activities.

Therefore, we have to confidently articulate the path for young people who are interested in joining the agricultural sector as Producers and safeguarding the natural resource management to do so with pride. This applies to all the 14 regions of our country.

These challenges need to be systematically addressed if more young people are to be developed. It is upon the government and relevant structures of authority to create an enabling environment from a policy point of view for youth development.

I therefore urge the community of Okongo area especially the youth, to proudly safeguard this investment and transform their livelihood to reduce the number of our young people who are migrating to urban areas hoping for a better life, but in reality, rural economic transformation is the better life.


Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Okongo Community Forest covers about 55 918 hectors of land in Okongo Constituency of Ohangwena Region. The major sources of livelihoods for the communities in Okongo area focused on crop production, livestock rearing and collection of non-timber forest products. Over the past year communities has witnessed very low rainfall and reoccurring droughts which has negatively impacted most livelihoods supporting activities.

The three greenhouses behind us today as well as all project activities being implemented here at Okongo community Forest, indicates the Ohangwena regions diverse agricultural potential, as well as sustainable forest utilization and agroforestry practice to enhance better livelihood of our people.

The Okongo Community Forest stands with great potential to create more employment opportunity through horticultural production, sustainable income generation, and integrated natural resource business venture through timber processing, bee farming and other forest products.

Ladies and Gentlemen!!

The “Hydroponic farming system in Okongo Community Forest project” is funded by the Environmental Investment Fund at the tune of N$ 3 million and being implemented by the Okongo Community Forest in Ohangwena region. This project aims at increasing resilience of vulnerable communities of the community forest to adapt to climate change threats through collective capacity building and promotion of climate smart technologies and climate resilient livelihoods.

I am delighted to inform you that today I will be handing over, three completed greenhouses units, a hydroponic unit for fodder production, a nursery, one borehole retrofitted with solar as well as a 10 000-liter water tank, and a cold storage facility. The project has employed two permanent workers and 65 temporally workers. The project recorded its bumper harvest early this year and generated an income of N$30 000 demonstrating capacity of a business venture.

In my conclusion, I would like to thank every one of you here for taking time off your busy schedules to come and be with us during this important occasion. I hope that we all leave here knowing that this project will transform the community of Okongo area and Ohangwena region at large and not become a white elephant.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Traditional Authority for their continuous support in ensuring that, the Government of the Republic of Namibia deliver services to its people. I am therefore confident, that we can continue with the successful implementation of this project.



Thank you.