KöES - When passing the red dunes of the small village of Köes, it could easily be assumed that not much is taking place in the area – but evidence on the ground paints a picture to the contrary.
Speaking to New Era, Johannes Johannes Cupido, chairperson of the management committee, delved more into the state of affairs of the village.
“We received an amount of N$680 000 from the Local Economic Development Association for implementing projects to address unemployment and poverty,” said Cupido.
He elaborated that his office is currently running a garden project, producing amongst others butternuts and melons that are sold to the community at affordable prices. He added that at this stage, they employ 10 persons against payment of N$500 per month.
According to the chairperson, they however, faced the challenge of the soaring heat, hence the need to put up greenhouses to ensure crops are growing under shade.
“We have already purchased the equipment for these greenhouses and are in the process to attract locals through a tendering process for the construction and erection of it,” said Cupido. He said that all tenders are earmarked exclusively for the local community except in cases where people lack technical skills.
“In such instances, the council enforced that unskilled labour must be reserved for the community,” he added.
Cupido furthermore said that in the near future, they are planning to put up a solar plant and panels as a measure to save on the high cost of providing electricity to the community.
He however admits that they inherited escalating outstanding debts to NamPower from the previous administrating authorities, but has arrangements in place to address the situation.
In terms of the provision of sanitation, he explained that water is not connected to some of the constructed toilets.
“The contractor has stopped the project, pending the payment of outstanding money for services delivered,” he shed more light on the issue.
Cupido emphasised that a big relief for them is that the council “pumps water from their own boreholes and thus does not have to pay for it.”
He in addition said residents are having access to water through a pre-paid water metre system.
Although there are quite a number of shacks visible in Köes, Cupido explained that the Build Together Programme was previously in place to address the housing need, but that it has been stopped, as “the beneficiaries did not pay back on their loans, resulting in a lack of funds to continue the project.”
He added that the council has however requested funding through the Association of Local Authorities in order to restart the project since the provision of housing is one of their main priorities.
New Era Reporter
2019-04-09 10:31:21 12 days ago