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Anuwa? Part 24

By M'kwanailya wa Mweuta
Thanks to the Cop 11 meeting which ended last week, I hooked up with a long lost friend from Africa.

We spoke about everything but I was surprised when he said "my friend I am inviting you to Africa and please make time to come. I responded by correcting her that she meant her country right? She however insisted that she was inviting me to Africa since she does not regard Namibia as such. Anuwa, Namibia is Africa for beginners!

Adding that she was speechless that everything is working smoothly. Anuwa there is too much order; and she could not believe that she was in Africa! Apparently it was for the first time she has heard of people driving high purchased cars, living in bonded houses and where the over 60 years are receiving a monthly allowance pension even those who have never worked in their lives.

I had to do explain that there is poverty and unemployment, but none of that could convince her that the challenges we are facing could be equated to that of her country of origin. She has travelled Africa but was convinced that Namibia fit a description of Africa for beginners!

She went on, praising the fact that the City of Windhoek is very clean up to Onghuwoyepongo suburb, that she travelled to Etosha on a tarred road, and not observed a single pothole, there was nothing like a black- out in any of the town she visited and not sewage water running in her path and went on until I lost interest in her story.

Only after she left, I realised that perhaps it is true that one does not value what one has until it is compared. And in my denial sphere I went on to look for the challenges at my village house. But again I realised, I have running water, solar system installed through the 5% interest loan from the Ministry of Mines and Energy and that the Epako - Omuvelo - Wakashamane tarred road being constructed will enable me to travel 900 km from Windhoek to Onaindjimba on "clean" road.

Back to Cop 11 meeting, anuwa it discussed, drought, desertification, and sustainable land management but how will this information reach people in the rural areas? Ironically, these are the people mostly affected by most issues discussed. I was astonished to hear one delegate, a local policy analyst saying that topics discussed where will make anuwa excellent materials for his doctorate thesis!

He was mum about the promotion of alternative cooking fuel rather than wood so as to halt desertification. Indeed, Christmas comes once a year and an opportunity such as the gathering of various experts and funders at Windhoek Country Club last month should have been maximized by the Namibia delegates.

It was not a coincident that the Eleventh Conference of Parties to the UN Convention to Combat Land Degradation and Desertification took place in Namibia. Financiers such as The Global Environment Facility (GEF) when approached with convincing community sustainable development projects will not hesitate. After all, during the rounding up session of the conference, GEF was invited to increase its support and take coordinated action at all levels to monitor land degradation and restoration of degraded lands. So let us approach them now and should not wait for the next COP in Turkey in 2015.


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