A member of the OvaHerero Repatriation Day Committee, Johnathan Katjimune, says there is a need for the government to hastily inject into the development of Gam Settlement to meet the needs of the growing population.

Speaking to nbc News on the sidelines of OvaHerero Repatriation Day, Katjimune says with the imminent return of about 1,000 Namibian descendants from Botswana, the demand for services will outweigh the supply.

Katjimune says Gam is still challenged by a lack of grazing or farming land, housing, and education facilities that need intervention.

"We are housed here, and we need to be given support for us not to feel as destitute and to have our youngsters roaming the streets. To have our youngsters developed, even vocational training centres must be brought in for us to develop and even upgrade our livestock breeding. So that cannot happen if there is no injection of some kind that can be brought in by developing small-scale farming, small-scale businesses for the youth to help themselves, training of some kind, self-reliance, and all these things."

Katjimune also called on the Delimitation Commission to make Gam a constituency like Tsumkwe, arguing that Grootfontein and Okakarara are too far away to access services. 

"It's one of the things that we feel that if we could get a constituency, it might give us more concentration in the development of where we are, and we can add some of the issues to ourselves. We need our own independent traditional authority that can look into us as a unique group other than being administered from Okakarara, which is 700 kilometres away from here."

The repatriation day has been commemorated annually since 1993 on April 28, following the return of 7,000 OvaHerero descendants of Namibians who fled to Botswana during the genocide.

Traditional chiefs and representatives of different traditional authorities from the Omaheke, Erongo, and Otjozondjupa regions were also in attendance.



Faith Sankwasa