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Omitara is a settlement in the Steinhausen electoral constituency in the Omaheke Region of Namibia. Together with the adjacent village of Otjivero — the two places are often referred to as one — it has a population of approximately 1,200 as of October 2008. Otjivero and Omitara Railway Station are two contiguous TransNamib railway stops en route from Windhoek to Gobabis.
Basic Income Grant project
In 2008 and 2009, Omitara and Otjivero were the site of a basic income grant test project. Every person under the retirement age of 60 was given 100 Namibian dollars (Namibian pensioners get an independent allowance of 550N$ per month). The follow-up study, published in October 2008, reported that poverty-related crime, malnutrition rates among children and school drop outs had decreased since the inception of the project. The coalition advocating for a BIG in Namibia was led by labour and church organisations, hoping for a nationwide implementation of this grant to alleviate the worst effects of poverty in the country. The government of Namibia has however not supported this initiative.
After the last payment was scheduled for December 2009, a bridging allowance of 80 N$ per month was introduced in order not to "let residents slide back into the dehumanising levels of poverty that they experienced before". This bridging allowance was paid until the end of 2011 when the BIG coalition ran out of money. Payments resumed again in July 2014 with support from the Waldensian Church in Italy.
West of Otjivero and Omitara you find the Otjivero-Dams. They store the Water of White Nossob River.
- Anne Kammesheidt: Das Projekt Otjivero - ein neuer Ansatz der Entwicklungspolitik in Namibia: Entwicklungsökonomische Voraussetzungen und Implikationen eines bedingslosen Grundeinkommens, Bremen 2010
- How a Basic Income Program Saved a Namibian Village, "Der Spiegel", Oct 2009
- BIG a big success Archived 2008-10-05 at the Wayback Machine The Namibian, 4 October 2008
- A Basic Income Program in Otjivero
- "BIG resources depleted". Namibia Economist. 9 March 2012. Archived from the original on 20 November 2012.
- Otjivero residents to get bridging allowance as BIG pilot ends Archived 2012-09-06 at Archive.today
- Namibia: BIG Resumes At Otjivero