13. September 2016

ELCRN welcomes second land conference

THE Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia (ELCRN) welcomes government's idea to convene a second land conference in November. In a statement yesterday, the church said it resolved at its 19 August meeting to support the conference.
It proposed that a multi-stakeholder taskforce involving civil society should be established to organise the conference. It also suggested that academic institutions, research agencies and experts should be engaged to review various policies, legislation and programmes on land reform.
Regional and local consultations, it also said, should be undertaken to provide a platform for the landless. The council believes that the land reform ministry officials cannot evaluate the construction as that would make a mockery of the sensitive issue.
It proposed that the land reform ministry should repeal the directive that no burial must be carried out on resettlement farms until further consultations.
The council also resolved to call on government to put on hold all non-essential programmes and projects so that it can divert more resources into alleviating the effects of the drought.
The council also welcomed the progress government made on the issue of genocide and negotiations between the Namibian and German governments, calling for an all-inclusive process.
As part of its duty to assist government to address the national housing crisis, the council resolved to donate a portion of a plot owned by the church to the Mariental Town Council for use in the low-income housing programme. It announced that the handing-over ceremony of the donated land will be held soon, although the land, estimated to be able to house up to 300 families, has already been made available to the town council. Other resolutions taken by the council at its meeting include supporting national efforts on the HIV-AIDS response, and to intensify interventions through its well-organised social infrastructure to combat gender-based violence. (The Namibian, Windhoek)

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