Farmers ‘grab’ land in Oshana

Elia Irimari

The Oshana region is experiencing an increase in farmers illegally seeking grazing land for their animals.

Oshana governor Elia Irimari has described the recent increase in cases of illegal land occupation and land fencing at the Ombuga grazing area as beyond imagination.

Irimari says this has caused numerous cases of conflict.

He was speaking during a performance review workshop at Oshakati by the Ministry Agriculture, Water and Land Reform yesterday.

“Like any other region, we are also faced with land issues,” Irimari said.

He noted that illegal land fencing is rife in the pristine Ombuga grazing area, which may cause problems for farmers in future.

“There might no longer be land for grazing,” he said.

Irimari called on the ministry to assist in curbing cases of illegal land occupation in the region.

“It could be that people might no longer have land where they can freely graze their animals. I appreciate the government’s effort in installing water pump stations in that area.”


Agriculture executive director Ndiyakupi Nghituwamata said illegal land occupation should be addressed when the ministry is registering land.

She added that despite land being very expensive, 14 lease agreements have been registered for resettled farmer, and 180 customary land rights were registered in the first quarter.

Ndiyakupi Nghituwamata


In March, Nghituwamata cautioned against illegal occupation of communal land in the Oshana region.

She said the ministry and the Oshana Communal Land Board has been inundated with cases of illegal land occupation through the sale of communal land in strategic areas, as well as surrounding Oshakati, Ongwediva and Ondangwa.


Irimari called for the ministry to operationalise the Oshakati Eloolo Abattoir.

“Efforts have been made by the government to ensure that this abattoir comes to operation but as a result of human conflict, this project is still idle and nothing is happening. It could offer employment. It is my call that we do something quickly.”

Irimari also noted that the meat processing plant at Ongwediva is not operational.

“This meat processing plant is so big and with all its facilities, this infrastructure is idle. It is now up to you as managers to think deeply so that we can revive this plant. Look at the investment done to bring it up and it will be good if we reopen it.”

Ondonga Traditional Authority spokesperson Frans Enkali said there have been no new reports of illegal land occupation, while fences were removed in those cases previously reported.

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