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Land minister urges implementation of land use plan

By Simon Liseli

Minister of Land Reform Utoni Nujoma, has urged residents of Zambezi to take full ownership and commitment towards the land use planning for a very fruitful implementation.

He made these remarks during the official launch and hand-over of the Zambezi Integrated Regional Land Use Plan (IRLUP) at Katima Mulilo on Thursday.

Minister of Land Reform Hon.Utoni Nujoma during the official launch and hand-over of the Zambezi Integrated Regional Land Use Plan (IRLUP) in Katima Mulilo

The plan is geared to be implemented as a ten- year- program (2016 – 2026) and was realised through the joint effort of the Ministry of Land Reform and regional stakeholders. He thanked the close collaboration between the Zambezi Regional Council and the Ministry of Land Reform in the production of the IRLUP.

The ministry’s mandate is to manage, administer and ensure access of Namibia’s land while the development and production of land use plans resonates with the mandate of the ministry to manage, administer and to ensure equitable access of the land.

“As Namibia aspires to be an industrialised nation by 2030 it is of great importance to this plan in place. The current efforts towards the development of IRLUP in the country are focused towards finding solutions to the efficient and sustainable utilization of land” He explained.

The IRLUP benefits are anchored around three pillars which are social sustainability, economic sustainability and environmental sustainability.

Utoni Nujoma added that land use can be used for the protection of biodiversity, sustainable natural resource management and for the adaptation and mitigation of climate change.

He called for the use of the plan to help for aggressive implementation and compliance monitoring. “Your cordial acceptance and participation during the implementation of this plan is vital for interdisciplinary cooperation, sectoral integration, civic engagement, hence pre-empt conflicts and identity synergies that arise as a result of sectoral approaches and dialogue among stakeholders”

Through this initiative the ministry has created a platform for enhanced stakeholder future engagement in planning matters that would address socio-economic development issues in Zambezi.

The region received IRLUP copies that were approved by the cabinet.

“I am glad that land use planning was introduced at an opportune time in Zambezi region since it is also a tool that can be meaningfully used to contribute to this convention” he noted.

On the same occasion the Executive Director and Accounting Officer in the Ministry of Land Reform Mr. Peter Amutenya added that land use planning is an important instrument for inter-sectoral collaboration and decision-making that consider the integration of all relevant plans such as developmental plans, sector plans and lower-level plans including national plans to facilitate the allocation of land to the users that provides the greatest sustainable benefits and to unlock the investment potentials that enhance economical up-liftment of communities, saying strategic environmental assessment is a requirement of environmental management Act of 2007, the principle that guides land use plan to consider environmental sensitivity of certain areas while participatory land use planning ensures that there is grass root participation and geographical information system is for map production and to ensure the updating of the plans after the implementation period of ten years.

Executive Director and Accounting Officer in the Ministry of Land Reform Mr. Peter Amutenya

“Colleagues it is of great importance that you take full ownership of this plan and ensure that it is fully implemented, monitored and reviewed in order to satisfy its objectives” advised  Mr. Amutenya.

In his acceptance speech Zambezi governor Lawrence Sampofu appreciated the government through the ministry of land reform for extending integrated regional land use plan for the Zambezi region. He also thanked the development partners such as KFW through basket fund and GIZ for piloting this new approach of land use planning in Zambezi and for their financial and technical contribution.

The governor also took his opportunity to thank Zambezi regional council, traditional authorities, regional and local authority councilors, all line ministries and participants from various organisations for making their time to be part of development and finalisation of the Zambezi land use plan.

“We are thankful to the Mafwe, Masubia, Mayeyi and Mashi traditional authority for their full-time participation and invaluable inputs towards the development of the Zambezi Integrated Regional land Use Plan” he remarked.

Representatives from Mafwe, Masubia, Mayeyi and Mashi traditional authority witnessing the hand over ceremony

He commended staff members from the ministry of land reform, Zambezi regional council for their valuable assistance during data collection and community consultative meetings to be appreciated.

He mentioned that one of the objectives of IRLUP is to correct previous decisions in land use and to find land use that is the most sustainable for the region in terms of not only environmental sustainability but also social and economic sustainability.

“Land use plan will ideally form platform for development planning within Zambezi region from which line ministries and Zambezi Regional Council should draw up to their sub regional and local economic development plans” he noted.

He pointed out that the Zambezi land use plan was submitted and approved by Cabinet through Cabinet Decision Number 11/050719/011 and this cabinet resolution among others direct full compliance to land use zone and as such the Zambezi region through the regional council shall implement and regularly monitor the IRLUP in the region.

Zambezi Governor Lawrence Sampofu

He called on the Chief Regional Officer, Managers of different departments of the Regional Council and all other staff members to implement projects and programs as directed by IRLUP.

 

“I remind you that to monitor, compliance of this IRLUP by seeing to it that you insert activities in performance appraisals at which your performances will be measured timely for the benefit of the region and its people” He concluded.

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