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Omaruru, Namibia

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Omaruru is a city[2] and constituency in the Erongo Region of Namibia The town has 14,000 inhabitants[3] and owns 352 square kilometres 136 sq mi of land[4] The town is situated near Mount Erongo, on the usually dry Omaruru River It is located on the main paved road from Swakopmund to Otjiwarongo The name in the local Otjiherero language means 'bitter milk', as the cattle used to browse on a local bush that turned their milk bitter

The town is known for its annual festival where the Hereros commemorate their past local chiefs, its winery and for the dinosaur footprints at nearby Otjihaenamparero


  • 1 History
    • 11 Legacy of von Trotha
  • 2 Dutch Reformed Church
  • 3 Politics
  • 4 Transport and infrastructure
  • 5 References


Omaruru was established in 1863 by Wilhelm Zeraua, the first chief of the White Flag clan of the OvaHerero people[5] In 1871, Anders Ohlsson and Axel Eriksson established a brewery at Omaruru Eriksson had also established a trading post, which flourished and by 1878 he employed about forty whites[6] Eriksson's business was based upon long-distance trading between southern Angola and Cape Colony, which necessitated the establishment of regional trade routes[7]

The town grew around a mission built in 1872 by Gottlieb Viehe, now a museum, and was attacked in 1904 during the Herero Wars Franke Tower was later erected to commemorate the relief by Hauptmann Victor Franke's troops of the local garrison that was beleaguered by Herero tribesmen who had risen against the German colonial presence

Legacy of von Trotha

The descendants of Lothar von Trotha and the von Trotha family travelled to Omaruru in October 2007 by invitation of the royal Herero chiefs and publicly apologised for his role in the Herero genocide Member of the family Wolf-Thilo von Trotha: "We, the von Trotha family, are deeply ashamed of the terrible events that took place 100 years ago Human rights were grossly abused that time"[8]

Dutch Reformed Church

Omaruru Reformed Church, the local congregation of the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa NGK was separated from that in Otjiwarongo in March 1, 1941, and included Omaruru, Karibib, Usakos, Kalkfeld, Swakopmund, and Walvis Bay as ward centers Over the years, six congregations were in turn spun off from the Omaruru one, but the overall numbers were usually sparse given the predominantly German demographics of the local white population At its founding, the congregation covered an area of approximately 400 kilometres 250 mi, both north to south and east to west


Omaruru is governed by a municipal council that currently[update] has seven seats[9] It is the district capital of the Omaruru Constituency

Omaruru is one of few Namibian towns where the political opposition is relatively strong Namibia's ruling party SWAPO won the 2010 local authority election with 847 votes, followed by the Rally for Democracy and Progress RDP with 369 votes, the United Democratic Front UDF with 308 votes, and National Unity Democratic Organisation NUDO with 107 votes[10] SWAPO also was the strongest party in the 2015 local authority elections, winning four seats in the town council and gaining 1117 votes The UDF gained two seats 590 votes, and the Democratic Turnhalle Alliance DTA obtained one 291 votes[11]

Transport and infrastructure

Omaruru is the only Namibian town not connected to the NamWater pipeline network It receives its water from boreholes along the Omaruru River which are managed by the municipality[12]

Omaruru Railway Station connects the town to the Trans-Namib railway network


  1. ^ "Table 422 Urban population by Census years 2001 and 2011" PDF Namibia 2011 - Population and Housing Census Main Report Namibia Statistics Agency p 39 Retrieved 24 August 2016mw-parser-output citecitationmw-parser-output citation qmw-parser-output id-lock-free a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-free amw-parser-output id-lock-limited a,mw-parser-output id-lock-registration a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-limited a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-registration amw-parser-output id-lock-subscription a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-subscription amw-parser-output cs1-subscription,mw-parser-output cs1-registrationmw-parser-output cs1-subscription span,mw-parser-output cs1-registration spanmw-parser-output cs1-ws-icon amw-parser-output codecs1-codemw-parser-output cs1-hidden-errormw-parser-output cs1-visible-errormw-parser-output cs1-maintmw-parser-output cs1-subscription,mw-parser-output cs1-registration,mw-parser-output cs1-formatmw-parser-output cs1-kern-left,mw-parser-output cs1-kern-wl-leftmw-parser-output cs1-kern-right,mw-parser-output cs1-kern-wl-rightmw-parser-output citation mw-selflink
  2. ^ "Local Authorities" Association of Local Authorities in Namibia ALAN Archived from the original on 10 June 2013 Retrieved 1 October 2012
  3. ^ Kazondovi, Lorraine 12 December 2011 "Racial integration failing at Omaruru" New Era Archived from the original on 2012-05-27 Retrieved 2011-12-13
  4. ^ "ELECTIONS 2010: Erongo regional profile" New Era 16 November 2010
  5. ^ "Quantify German repatriation, Venaani says" The Namibian NAMPA 8 October 2014
  6. ^ Christison, G "BEYOND THE PALE: DAMARALAND & OVAMBOLAND" PDF Retrieved 19 Nov 2009[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ Sellström, Tor 1999 "Sweden and National Liberation in Southern Africa: Volume 1" PDF Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, Uppsala Retrieved 19 Nov 2009
  8. ^ BBC News
  9. ^ "Know Your Local Authority" Election Watch 3 Institute for Public Policy Research 2015 p 4
  10. ^ "Press Release Local Authority – Erongo – Omaruru" Electoral Commission of Namibia Retrieved 24 January 2018
  11. ^ "Local elections results" Electoral Commission of Namibia 28 November 2015 p 1 Archived from the original on 10 December 2015
  12. ^ Hartmann, Adam 2 April 2013 "Omaruru running dry" The Namibian Archived from the original on 13 April 2013

Coordinates: 21°26′S 15°56′E / 21433°S 15933°E / -21433; 15933

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