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Research foci

The study is located in the Pilot Area of Omatjete. We have chosen two foci:

1. The Test Area of Omutiuanduko where the community and its development-related institutions of Community Development Committee (CDC) and Waterpoint Committee, as well as local Agricultural Extension Service will be studied. In the Omatjete region this organizational structure was initiated by SARDEP. The function of a CDC is to assist the community to manage natural resources (SARDEP 2001: 35ff, esp. 38). The Waterpoint Committees are dealing with any matters pertaining to the running of the borehole, the diesel-pump, and the payment of water fees by the farmers. Elected by the community itself and, in terms of its membership, intended to be representative of the various social groups of which the communitiy consists, the CDC and the Waterpoint Committee link the community with governmental and non-governmental institutions. These organizations have been successfully motivated to actively take part in development from their own perspectives; one may say that they have taken up ownership of development in truly participatory fashion. The role of the Agricultural Extension Service is to facilitate the work of CDC and WCs, but also of individual farmers.

2. In 2001 this Farmers’ Association (FA) united two so far competing FAs, the Tjohorongo Farmers’ Association, and the Konjee Farmers’ Association. Not only that the two associations allegedly represented different political affiliations (SWAPO and DTA) to which many farmers were reluctant to associate themselves because they did not want to take (political) sides. Also, it was felt, that development aid could only be granted to one of the associations. In order to concentrate on the development of farmers and farming in the area the associations were merged. In the beginning it was SARDEP and the Omatjete Agricultural Extension Service who cooperated closely on this issue. Later on, after their reconciliation, the local chiefs King Christiaan Zeraua and ... Jeja also played an important role in this process.








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