Two-year cap to address accommodation for students

Obrein Simasiku

The Governor of the Oshana Region Ellia Irimari has given the three local authorities of Oshakati, Ongwediva and Ondangwa, two years to fast track land provision for the construction of affordable accommodation for students.

This is because students of a lack of adequate accommodation and the subsequent exorbitant rental charges.

Irimari said the provision of affordable housing remains a challenge in the region as the demand for decent shelter continues escalating.

He, however, said that significant progress is being made by the three local authorities, hence further encouragement to service more land in the region to avail land for housing development.

“My office has engaged Ongwediva, Ondangwa and Oshakati Town Councils to strategically avail land to developers for the construction of affordable accommodation for students in our three towns. Therefore, I am looking forward to having this accommodation problem solved within the next two financial years of 2022/23 and 2023/24,” stressed the governor.

“As a result of urbanization, the region is experiencing a high demand for residential and business properties. Thus, the local authorities in the region are busy planning and establishing new townships. As at the end of the 2021/22 Financial Year, there are 23 proclaimed townships in Ondangwa Town, whereas two townships in Ongwediva Town, and five townships in Oshakati are being established,” he empathetically said.

Furthermore, he said, his office has been instrumental in supporting students enrolling at various universities and colleges. He however said, that, despite the high government investment in education, still find it difficult to complete their studies due to financial challenges.

“Then I knew we have to do something, for the education of our children is the responsibility of all of us. I have taken the initiative to assist, and this year alone my office was able to provide tuition support to 42 students at a cost of N$141,820,” the governor said proudly.

In the same vein Irimari, commended the Office of the Vice President for financing 13 marginalised students from Uuvudhiya Constituency to study at Valombola Vocational Training Centre; Nored for offering internship to 23 students at a cost of N$207 000 as well as the Social Security Commission (SCC) for awarding 12 students from the Oshana Region with bursaries. Also SCC through its Development Fund provided N$2.3 million for the training of 30 unemployed Namibians at Kayec institute in Ondangwa.

Due to such support, the governor said, about 1328 youths graduated from different higher learning institutions in the region.

In terms of education infrastructure, the Ministry of Higher Education, Technology and Innovation has completed the project for the construction of a workshop at Valombola Vocational Training Centre at a cost of N$35 million. The education directorate, has implemented education infrastructure in the region at a combined capital budget of N$182.2 million.

Further a total of 16 classrooms at Ekuku and Ondiiyala JPS are constructed at a cost of N$5.35 million. The successful implementation of these school infrastructure projects is expected to improve access to education in Oshakati and Ondangwa where the demand is currently high. Moreover, an amount of N$3.95 million is allocated to construct six classrooms, large ablution and an administrative block at Ondjadjo SS, highlighted the governor.

By Observer