Indigenous Himba Appeal to UN to Fight Namibian Dam
WINDHOEK, Namibia -- More than 20 traditional chiefs of Namibia´s indigenous nomadic Himba people have appealed to the United Nations to stop construction of a huge dam in their area, human rights activists said on Thursday.
say that generations of graves would be flooded by the mooted 1 700-gigawatt
hydroelectric dam, according to AFP. The Himba worry their ancestors will be angered and could
react badly, causing havoc in their lives.
"We have not been consulted and we would lose our graveyards and sacred
places, flooded by the dam," said a declaration signed by 26 Himba chiefs,
released by local human rights campaigners NamRights.
"We will never give our consent to have our river blocked... our
environment destroyed and our land taken away from us."
NamRights director Phil ya Nangoloh told reporters
he had submitted the declaration to the Namibian government and to the AU
Commission on Human and People's Rights.
The Himba argue the dam violates their rights under the UN Declaration on the
Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which Namibia has voted in favor of in the United
Nations General Assembly in 2007.
Chief Hikumine Kapika also invited UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous
peoples, Professor James Anaya, to visit the affected Himba communities in
In a sparsely populated country of two million people, about 18 000 Himbas live
in north-western Namibia, with another 9 000 just across the border with
Their ancestors migrated from the Great Lakes region of central Africa about
200 years ago, and they have survived with their traditions despite wars and
Published by: Magne Ove Varsi