ONGWEDIVA – Oshana Regional Governor Clemens Kashuupulwa said with good infrastructural development in place to preserve rainwater, the region has the potential to reduce the impact of floods while saving water for dry spells.
Speaking at the launch of the Development Bank of Namibia’s Innovation Award on Tuesday evening at Ongwediva, Kashuupulwa said Oshana receives water in abundance during the rainy season but suffers water scarcity during dry seasons. Narrating the challenges the region faces, the governor reckons that Oshana is in dire need of industries and agro-processing plants in order to add value to locally produced agricultural products.
The governor said although communal farmers have vast experience in agriculture they continue to languish in poverty. “Our farmers must grow agricultural prosperity by adding value to its produce. This requires the establishment of agricultural processing, such as mills and abattoirs. It also requires industries that support processing, particularly packaging, storage and transport that will allow Oshana Region to bring its produce to the wider Namibian market,” Kashuupulwa said.
In addition to creating an income for the communal farmers, Kashuupulwa said the industries will also create jobs in the rural areas. According to the governor, improved agricultural economic activities would also slow the pace of urban migration and subsequently bring relief to the pressured urban communities. Currently, the urban areas face a large influx of people from the rural areas seeking employment and better opportunities. The governor thus urged the residents of Oshana Region to continue working in the spirit of Harambee in order to make significant socio-economic contributions to the development of the region and Namibia at large. The governor reiterated government’s commitment to partner with the private sector and the general public to address challenges of unemployment, housing, sanitation, poverty and income disparity in the country.