Otjozondjupa governor James Uerikua is vexed by the non-collection of issued identification cards and other related documents.
For the period under review [2022/23 financial year], Uerikua shared that the region’s home affairs and immigration office was sitting with 4 828 uncollected ID cards of people from different age groups, who, he said, could have otherwise applied for various government benefits had they collected the documents.
Speaking during his penultimate State of the Region address recently, he urged members of the public to collect their ID cards and appealed to the relevant ministry to deliver the uncollected ID cards to the various areas, as some people might not have transport or money to travel from their rural homes to collect their ID cards at Otjiwarongo.
“I also appeal for mobile outreach activities in remote areas of the region, such as Tsumkwe constituency, as a lack of national documents deprives access to social benefits to many people in rural areas,” Uerikua added.
He said the region faces a growing number of people without ID cards, which denies them opportunities to benefit from the government’s various social safety nets.
He said during the same period, the region recorded 9 507 births, while 10 318 ID cards were registered.
“The introduction of an electronic notification system for births and death and other services is highly welcomed. As we strive to enforce a sense of nationalism, we place emphasis on ensuring that our region’s citizens have access to national documents such as ID cards and birth certificates, which are mandatory documents for recognition purposes and accessing of services such as grants and most importantly, to enable young ones to enrol in school. In Namibia, it is mandatory for anyone who has attained 16 years, to have an ID card,” the technocrat-cum-politician said.
Uerikua also underscored that without such national identification documents, it will be impossible for the region’s inhabitants to benefit from government initiatives such as the rural development programme (RDP).
The RDP is designed to improve the living standards of rural communities by providing basic social and economic services support through projects.
During the 2022/23 fiscal period, a total of N$862 958 was spent on the implementation of four RDP programmes; namely the food/ cash for work initiative, micro-finance (SME support), support to poor rural farmers and region-specific action plan for food security programmes.
“A total of 15 projects under the food/cash for work programme have been initiated. These projects included the construction and re-gravelling of roads, de-bushing and fencing of graveyards and stadiums at some settlements, rehabilitation of water points as well as renovation of a community hall at Kalkfeld,” he added. - email@example.com