RUNDU – Ndonga Linena Constituency Councillor Petrus Kavhura, who is also a member of parliament in the National Council, says the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) did not consult the Kavango East regional leadership before closing down its Ndiyona settlement sub-office.
The office was closed down in May, and staff members were relocated to Buffalo core area in the Bwabwata (West) National Park in Mukwe in Kavango East.
The MET sub-office closure at Ndiyona settlement, which is one of the region’s growth points, is being described by many as moving backwards.
“As the regional leadership we are going to have a council meeting on Friday and we are going to take a decision that we will forward to the minister. The office was not supposed to close. Their reasons for closing down are irrelevant to us and the public; we will do our part and inform their minister that we are not in support and it has not received the blessings of the regional leadership,” Kavhura said.
The office mainly dealt with national parks and wildlife management. MET’s deputy director for the north-east regions, Apollinaris Kanyinga, confirmed that they have implemented the closure.
Earlier in May, Kanyinga said that the Ndiyona office was not worth keeping open as there were only two staff, as the third staff member was going on retirement. He also said the supervision aspect was challenging, amongst other administrative issues.
“If the reasons I shared with you become better we will review, there won’t be problems with services; staff members are doing their work like before but we are not in Ndiyona anymore,” Kanyinga said.
MET rented office space from the Gciriku Traditional Authority for N$750 per month and MET says the closing down is to cut costs. But for Ndiyona it means they will be served from offices 100 km away – the Rundu office and the Buffalo office – where the staff are being migrated so that if there is a case of human-wildlife conflict, officials will be dispatched from there.