Matheus Hamutenya Keetmanshoop-//Kharas Governor Lucia Basson says residents of the region should position themselves and be ready to grab any opportunities available once the Neckartal dam is completed. Work on the dam is set to be completed this year, and despite controversies over the years since construction started in 2013, and the cost of the dam escalating from the initial N$3.2 billion to N$5.7 billion to date, the construction work has offered employment opportunities to about 1,500 people, of whom 82 percent are said to be Namibians. And the //Kharas governor in an interview with New Era said the completion of the dam should be seen as another chance for the region’s residents to grab any opportunities available, saying as residents from the region where the dam is situated they should be the direct beneficiaries. “The dam is in our region – of course we would like to see our people benefit directly, this is what development is all about, it is the only way we can get our people out of poverty,” she said. She thus urged //Kharas inhabitants to position themselves favourably and be ready to grab opportunities that the dam might present once it is completed, and with about 5,000 hectares of land to be used for irrigation purposes, Basson says it is up to the residents to be ready for the huge irrigation projects on the way. The governor was however quick to note that people must not only think about employment opportunities, but rather on how they can be owners of some of the plots alongside the dam, adding that people should be empowered and not only employed. “We urge our people to position themselves … so that when the time comes for submission of bids, they too can bid for plots so that they get their fair share of the cake.” So far the Neckartal dam is the largest project the government has funded in the //Kharas Region and is expected to have a holding capacity of 880 million cubic metres of water, which is about three times the size of the Hardap dam, which is currently Namibia’s largest dam.
2018-01-05 09:24:23 8 months ago