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Home / Erongo hostels in sorry state …as Swakop Uranium donates N$600 000

Erongo hostels in sorry state …as Swakop Uranium donates N$600 000

2024-02-02  Eveline de Klerk

Erongo hostels in sorry state …as Swakop Uranium donates N$600 000

SWAKOPMUND - School hostels in the Erongo region, specifically those along the coast, are in dire need of financial aid to upgrade their ailing infrastructure. 

Some of these hostels were built in the early nineties and have not seen much renovation since. 

As a result, close to 100 learners who were accommodated at Namib High School girls’ hostel had to be removed from the facility due to health and safety concerns. The hostel has been closed for nearly two years.

The facility is in a dilapidated state: its roof needs urgent renovation, while the ceilings and tiles also need attention to make it habitable for learners again. 

During New Era’s visit to the hostel on Monday, electrical wires were exposed, lights were hanging from the ceiling, while taps and shower heads were also missing, and the roof of the building was almost non-existent.

Education director for Erongo region, Erenfriede Stephanus, stated on Tuesday that the renovations have been brought to the attention of the works ministry for years now. 

“However, nothing has been done to date. These hostel buildings are falling apart as regular maintenance is not done,” she explained.

 She also indicated that the coastal weather exacerbates the infrastructure’s degradation. Stephanus further explained that the region is also faced with financial challenges as there are simply not enough funds available to address such renovations. 

She added that minor renovations were done in the past; however, funding received from their line ministry also needed to be used for the construction of additional classrooms.

“Therefore, we need assistance from the private sector to come on board so that these hostels and schools can be restored, providing learners with a safe place to stay. It is necessary to renovate despite other priorities, especially during the rainy seasons, as it becomes impossible to accommodate the learners,” she emphasised.

The school’s principal, Rosmarie September, also explained that Namib High School was started in 1950, while the hostel was built later. 

She hopes to generate enough funds so that the hostel can be renovated. 

“Especially the roof when it rains, the water pours in, making it unsafe for learners. That is one of the reasons why we had no choice but to move the learners from the hostel,” she said.

Answering the school’s plight, Swakop Uranium donated N$600 000 towards the renovation of Namib High School’s girls’ hostel, as well as the renovation of Swakopmund Secondary School’s computer lab through the Swakop Uranium Foundation. 

Percy McCallum, chairperson of the fund, during the donation handover yesterday, indicated that N$500 000 will go towards the renovation of the girls’ hostel, while N$100 000 will be used for the renovation of SSS’s computer lab. 

According to him, Swakop Uranium’s vision is to create a better Namibia aligned with bringing prosperity to communities and Namibians at large.

“Today’s event is focused on the educational needs of Namibia’s schools and children under the ‘Invest in Education’ campaign of the Swakop Uranium Foundation. This campaign aims to bring improvements to the school facilities to create a conducive learning environment for our future leaders. It is also a call to action to ensure that no Namibian child is left behind as the world reaches new heights in education and technology daily,” he said. 

He added that through these pledges, the company hopes that other corporates will come on board in their various capacities to assist in bettering school facilities nationwide. He then appealed to other stakeholders to rally behind the region and heed the education sector’s appeal by making further contributions towards the rehabilitation of educational infrastructure.

Erongo governor, Neville Andre, on his part also called upon other stakeholders to assist the region in its quest to provide proper facilities for education. 

According to the Erongo governor, Neville Andre, the donations also reflect the power of collaboration between the private sector and the government. Andre explained that infrastructure remains a challenge for education not only in Erongo but in the whole country.

“Much of our infrastructure is aging and affects the quality of education. Therefore, it is important that we create a conducive environment. Therefore, we are grateful to Swakop Uranium for donating to this noble cause,” he said. 

The governor said Swakop Uranium’s contribution will make a meaningful impact and strengthen its commitment to education and community development.

2024-02-02  Eveline de Klerk

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