*Over 4, 098ha needed for residential plots
*Over 24 000 people on the waiting list
Chobe Land Board has found itself caught between a rock and a hard place in its attempt to address a daunting task of allocation of plots.
With a waiting list that currently stands at 24 388, and the ever shrinking space and a need to balance coexistence of humans and animals, the board now has tough decisions to make.
Chobe District is made up of eight villages of Pandamatenga, Lesoma, Kazungula in the East and Mabele, Kavimba, Kachikau, Satau and Parakarungu in the west and Kasane as the Rural Administrative Centre (RAC).
The rest of the District comprises the Chobe National Park and six forest reserves which amount to about 74 % of the total land in the District, leaving only 26 % of the land for human settlements.
According to the Board Chairperson, Johane Chenjekwa, currently plots that are ready for allocation exist at Parakarungu and Kazungula villages with 474 and 1079 residential plots respectively.
He however said while a new layout will be adequate for villages such as Parakarungu, Kavimba and Satau, the same cannot be said about the five other villages.
“For instance in Lesoma we need about 1200h for 7 079 applications, but there’s no additional land available to address future expansion except if land is expropriated for conservation areas,” he said.
The same he says applies for Kazungula, while in Mabele and Pandamatenga additional land will need to be acquired from surrounding arable farms.
“Kazungula’s waiting list is 11 437 and estimated land required is 1, 943ha, but only an extra 1,219ha is currently available,” said Chenjekwa.
The Chairperson however said base maps covering an area of 1,355ha of land have been completed and submitted to the Planning Office.
“Draft Detailed Layouts for Satau, Kachikau and Kavimba were presented during the Board sitting of the 30th August – 3rd September and they’ll then be presented to the Physical Planning Committee for final approval before they can be handed to the Landboard for surveying and eventual allocation,” he said.