NKURENKURU - Kavango West Regional Governor Sirkka Ausiku in her fifth state of the region address (Sora) last week said the region is disappointed to note that most government agencies and ministries still did not include the region’s priority projects in their current budgets.
“As I reported last year, realising the state of our region, in 2017 the regional leadership developed a document highlighting our developmental needs that we deem important to be addressed by the central government,” she said. “This document was submitted to the Prime Minister [Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila] in May 2017 to request [government offices, ministries and agencies] to align all medium-term expenditure frameworks (MTEFs) to our regional priorities. However it is disappointing to note that most OMAs still did not consider the region’s priority projects,” she said.
“Programs such as regional government office park, the district hospital, a fully-fledged secondary school with a hostel in Nkurenkuru, and one of our strategic (feeder) roads, D3446, are still not budgeted for,” she said.
Ausiku also said that there is a need to construct a water pipeline in the region that will link villages along the Rundu-Nkurenkuru highway where residents mainly rely on the Kavango River for water.
In her address she also noted that her office is also faced with complaints that traditional authorities are allocating communal areas to private individuals as farms, without consulting the affected communities, and thus warrants an intervention in the matter.
“Most of the inhabitants living along the Kavango River do not have safe drinking water – thus, a need to construct a water pipeline along our national roads in the region,” Ausiku said. “The region is further faced with the challenges of communal land administration, illegal fencing off of land, as well as our traditional authorities allocating commonage areas to private individuals as farms without consulting the affected communities that use the areas for grazing. In this regard our office will organise training for land stakeholders in the region to create awareness of the provisions of the law and procedural matters,” she added.
The governor revealed that the region is also faced with prolonged dry spells at the beginning of the ploughing season and farmers and community members are experiencing a huge loss on their crops and facing food insecurity at household level.
According to the 2018 Namibia Labour Force Survey, the main source of income for 57.1 percent of the people in Kavango West is subsistence farming.
“The region thus would like to thank [President Hage Geingob] for declaring a state of emergency on account of the persisting national disaster of drought. I am happy to report that the regional disaster risk management committees at both regional and constituency levels are activated,” she said.
“At the same time I would like to appeal to Kavango West Regional Council and traditional authorities to work together, share information especially on the issue of leasing of grazing areas in the region and to consult the affected communities,” she said.