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Omitara is located in Namibia
Location in Namibia
Coordinates: 22°16′S 18°1′E / 22.267°S 18.017°E / -22.267; 18.017Coordinates: 22°16′S 18°1′E / 22.267°S 18.017°E / -22.267; 18.017
Country  Namibia
Region Omaheke Region
Time zone South African Standard Time (UTC+1)
Climate BSh
Station Omitara, Namibia

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[edit]

In 2008 and 2009, Omitara and Otjivero were the site of a basic income grant test project.[1] 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,[2][3] 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.[4]

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".[5] This bridging allowance was paid until the end of 2011 when the BIG coalition ran out of money.[4] Payments resumed again in July 2014 with support from the Waldensian Church in Italy.[6]