The resuscitated Omuthiya Mayoral Fund raised N$208 000 at a gala dinner held on Friday.
Proceeds are meant to be used for assisting impoverished members of the community, through establishing urban agricultural projects as well construction of a school hostel.
The maiden event was held in July 2017 but since then, nothing much happened.
“I am glad to see that the Omuthiya Town Council is addressing the issue of assisting marginalised communities from an excellent angle, namely urban agriculture. This will indeed boost community access to nutritious, cheap, fresh produce while also encouraging residents to understand where their food come from. Backyard gardens should, therefore, be emulated by all residents, as it will help low-income earners save the already little money, while enhancing a healthy diet,” said Oshikoto governor Penda Ya Ndakolo.
In addition, Ya Ndakolo said he wishes to see a garden created at the school hostel in Omuthiya to provide easy access to vegetables and fruits to learners, enabling them to live healthy, which eventually leads to improved performance.
“These are all good efforts, that assist government in achieving its sustainable development goals of zero hunger in Namibia and ensuring food security, which will also assist us in overcoming marginalisation as a country,” further remarked the governor.
Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila who attended the event, said the mayoral fund is an initiative intended to establish strategic alliances in the development and upliftment of communities through financial or other support.
Furthermore, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said the activities to be undertaken are noble and needs support from everyone, hinting “local authorities bring government closer to the people as they are involved with service delivery and development at the grassroots level”.
“Public service is not only important for social welfare for our communities, but it also fosters economic growth and development. In turn, economic growth is a prerequisite for addressing the social challenges facing our communities. There is, thus a symbiotic relationship between economic development and the town’s ability to offer quality services to its residents,” said the PM.
In the same vein, she warned that, poor governance leads to poor performance of public institutions, mismanagement, including misappropriation of public resources and constrained economic development and growth.
On that note, the PM advised local authorities to use services of SMEs, saying the Public Procurement Act allows for preferential treatment of Namibian companies. This, she said, would create economic opportunities for local enterprises to flourish.
“In particular, targeted actions are needed to address the threats facing smallholder farmers, rural small and medium enterprises, women, youth and indigenous people,” she noted.
She made reference to government’s decision to accelerate decentralisation, saying it does not only transfer functions from the centre to sub-national; but also strengthens democracy and promotes effective governance through improved public participation and service delivery.
“Given limited resources and to harness private sector capabilities, government has adopted public private partnerships (PPP). Local authorities are encouraged to leverage from PPP to accelerate development and service delivery in their localities,” implored Kuugongelwa-Amadhila.