Kunene region spends N$ 33m on infrastructure development

Martin Endjala

The Kunene Region has spent over N$33 million from its initial allocated N$200 million for the 2022/23 financial year, due to funds that were virement on given projects such as N$175 million towards the construction of the new 412 kilometre-long Swakopmund-Henties Bay-Kamanjab road.

Kunene Regional Governor, Marius Sheya said in his State of the Region address yesterday in Opuwo that it is no secret that public infrastructure development stimulates prosperity and promotes economic inclusion through the provision of accessibility, inclusion, and safety. Infrastructure development shapes social and economic outcomes that promote a socially fair and cohesive society, he added.

Sheya stressed that the construction of infrastructure creates jobs, particularly immediate employment opportunities, improves efficiency within the economy and boosts productivity in all sectors.

The Kamanjab Local Authority constructed an in-house sewerage reticulation plant which includes the upgrading of a pump station for N$ 3.9 million which is still ongoing as well as the water reticulation for Extension 2 at a cost of N$2.1 million which is completed.

Water reticulation for the Ourab location for N$198 000 to provide 70 households was also completed and 25 low-cost Houses at the cost of N$1.2 million, are 95 percent completed, the price range of these houses is said to be in the region of N$35 000-N$60 000, Sheya announced.

The Governor also revealed that Kamanjab procured a vehicle of N$250 000 for its fleet and N$1 million was spent on a 200-metre road upgrade with low-volume bitumen and gravel, which includes a three-year design implementation plan which is already completed.

Meanwhile, the Khorixas Town Council Sewer Upgrade and Rehabilitation (Cleaning of Sewer Reticulation) allocated N$4 million in expenditure, of which N$2.8 million created 12 jobs for a period of over four months, cleaning 8.8km of pipelines and manholes debouching and cleaning of Sewer Pond Inlet Replacement of asbestos pipes is still an ongoing project.

Delivery and installation of 240 pre-paid water meters in Donkerhoek Informal Settlement and Pensioners houses for N$1.3 million were completed, the Governor said.

To stimulate economic activity in the region, Opuwo town council this year hosted its 10th trade fair edition.Sheya said other local authorities must start organizing trade fairs as this ensures strategic and target growth.

Sheya underscored education as critical for sustainable development and social transformation, as it protects children from the effects of unemployment and poverty.

He stressed that access to quality education paves the way for improved skills acquisition. To this end, the Directorate of Education, Arts, and Culture undertook certain projects during the period under review.

These include the upgrading of Basic Education Facilities with an allocation of N$ 931 000 in expenditure and N$461,078 was used, which is 50 percent completed Projects Advertised.

The renovation of Schools saw an allocation of N$ 791,000 in expenditures. N$673 820 was utilized; Projects Advertised are 15 precent completed, Sheya added.

He noted that the renovation of Mureti Secondary School allocated N$2.5 million expenditure, and Phase 1 is 100 percent completed.

Additional work is said to be done for major renovations for the burnt down girls’ hostel at Eddie Bowe Primary School, Construction and Electrification of the Ablution block with Shower at De-Riet Education Centre Primary School.

The demands for providing quality education Sheya said are high, and the government is unable to adequately meet all the needs that are required for life-changing education, that is why private sector assistance is highly valued because their assistance bridges the gaps that ensure access to education for many more children.

Moreover, the Governor emphasized that it is their responsibility to provide the Namibian child with an environment conducive for them to reach their full potential regarding this Operation Sida di Goan a project established in 2018.

The project is geared towards revamping broken chairs, desks and beds collected from urban schools and redistributing them to rural schools is underway in the town of Khorixas and it will soon be commissioned.

Meanwhile, he said that education has a direct impact on employability; thus, upskilling is an essential tool in qualifying the labour force. In response to this, the construction of the Kunene Vocational Training Centre commenced in September 2020 with Phase 1A the provision of bulk services was completed at N$ 21,4 million. Phase 1b comprises the construction of initial facilities at a cost of over N$63 million.

Minor renovation of clinics and staff house worth N$243 000 were also completed, including the renovation of electricity at the Opuwo State Hospital at N$84 000, as well as OpuwoDistrict Hospital renovation ward 1,2,3 and maternity at the tune of N$393 000.

Since 2019 a total of 002 35 affected households in rural areas have been registered in the region for drought relief and since partnering up with the World Food Program has initiated a voucher-based relief whereby beneficiaries receive a voucher for food items worth N$ 700 each per month for three months.

So far 370 beneficiaries benefited in the Khorixas constituency, Outjo 370, Sesfontein 370 and Opuwo rural 370.

“Planning is an important component of progress it guides us into the direction of change and proactively working towards our ambitions. Kunene is a region of endless possibilities. In the past few years, the SORA has been both a platform of accountability as well a blueprint for articulating the aspirations of the people of the region,” explained the Governor.

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