Ben-Hur Rural Development Centre was stablished by the Tswana Representative Government during pre-independence and is situated 50 kilometres south-east of Gobabis on the C22 route to Aminius (gravel). The centre is located on Farm Tsjaka in the Kalahari Constituency, part of the ten farms in the resettlement area in the Kalahari Constituency of Omaheke region.
The current Centre Manager is Mr Medusalem Nandjebo.
The centre was transferred to the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Rural Development after independence in 1990. The Ministry contracted Oxfam Canada to manage the centre from 1997 to 2003. After Oxfam terminated their activities, the centre was transferred to the Ministry of Regional Local Government, Housing and Rural Development, who contracted Komeho Development Agency to manage the centre from 2004 to 31 March 2013.
After Komeho, Ngoma Consulting Services was contracted to take over centre management from 01 April 2013 until 31 March 2016. The Centre was then transferred to Omaheke Regional Council with effect from 01 April 2017.
The Centre’s core business is to develop appropriate technology products with special focus on woodwork and carpentry; to manufacture affordable wood products that meet the needs of rural communities; as well as to provide hospitality services, namely catering, accommodation and conference facilities.
The Centre has been involved in a number of projects, including Early-Childhood Development Centres in Netso and Vuurslag and Tsjaka where the Centre constructed classrooms, erected fencing and provided water and ablution facilities.
Other projects include a poultry project which is aimed at improving the livelihood and nutrition of the identified beneficiaries; a vegetable garden; milling of animal feed for farmers at affordable prices; livestock vaccination; and a wurm compost project.
The Centre has a staff compliment of 15 staff members as well as three artisans and a casual labourer.
The Centre, however, faces water shortage challenges, limited funds and a lack of staff accommodation.