The Khomas region has recorded numerous clear successes in 33 years of independence.
These successes include economic growth; infrastructural development such as roads, bridges and properties/buildings; an increase in the manufacturing industry; access to health facilities; access to schools; and improved telecommunications services.
This was confirmed by chief regional officer Clement Mafwila, who observed that access to basic services such as clean water and sanitation has also improved in many areas.
“Peace and stability are some of the aspects that the region can celebrate,” he said.
With regards to the provision of water infrastructure, particularly to the rural residents of the region, the regional council has allocated resources for the drilling of boreholes and the installation of water infrastructure in the Windhoek Rural constituency.
In the 2022/23 financial year, an amount of N$4.3 million was allocated for the Water Intervention programme such as deepening and installations at Satansloch (Enos and Ernest) at N$638 488.52, and the rehabilitation of a borehole at Diep River at N$801 417.29.
“This includes the installation of a booster pump to pump water to Enos and Ernest due to low water yield, the installation of nine solar panels (six at the borehole and three at the booster pump), the removal of old casing and installation of new ones, and other associate accessories.”
Another achievement is the procurement of equipment for water connections at Ongombo West at an amount of N$364 219.30.
In addition, the Directorate of Water Supply and Sanitation Co-ordination in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform purchased materials and equipment for water installations at N$1.5 million for the region.
The materials were used to rehabilitate two water points, namely Ongombo West and Verdruk, with assistance from the delegated functionaries of the Directorate of Water Supply and Sanitation Coordination from the Hardap and Kavango East
To address the housing shortages in the region, the council and other stakeholders contributed to the construction of 460 informal settlements under the Informal Settlement Upgrading Pilot Project.
This project is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development, Khomas Regional Council, City of Windhoek and National Housing Enterprise, which was launched in July 2020 to construct affordable and decent houses for residents in the informal settlements to address housing provision challenges.
Mafwila said the council availed N$8 million (N$3.5 million in 2021 and N$4.5 million in 2022) towards this development.
The council further provided access to toilet facilities through the construction of 101 portable toilets at a total value of N$1.6 million during the 2022/23 financial year for 456 community members since inception.
Mafwila noted that council has made a commitment to assist vulnerable and needy community members and individuals within the boundaries of the Khomas region with registration fees for NSSCO Grade 11 and NSSAS Grade 12 studies at Namcol for the academic year 2023 through the Educational Financial Assistance Programme. “This decision was prompted by several requests from numerous students in the region seeking financial assistance to register at Namcol, as well as at other tertiary institutions,” he added. As such, the council assisted 110 Namcol students to upgrade their Grades 11 and 12 results to the tune of N$148 000 in 2023. This programme will be implemented on a yearly basis. The council likewise assisted 76 students at accredited institutions of higher learning with a combined registration fee of N$219 951.
The Khomas Regional Council availed N$500 000 to buy ‘Back to School’ parcels for learners.
“This is because the constituency offices are usually flocked by parents and guardians seeking help to make ends meet with regards to buying school uniforms and stationery for their school-going children. This programme benefitted 343 learners from 33 schools in the region”.
In terms of rural development, several programmes benefit the most vulnerable, unemployed youths, SMEs, the elderly and previously disadvantaged groups. The rural development project aims to improve sanitation, create employment, promote entrepreneurship development in rural areas, and contribute to the country’s economy as well as poverty reduction. A total amount of N$382 490 (N$305 567 in the 2021/22FY and N$76 923 in the 2022/23FY) was spent to implement 10 (3 in 2021/22 and 7 in 2022/23) different projects within the Windhoek Rural constituency.
To address unemployment, the council continues with its SME support programme called the Income-Generating Activities Programme, under which SMEs are assisted with equipment and materials.
A total amount of N$2.5mil (N$1mil in 2021/22 and N$1.5 mil in 2022/23) funded 218 (36 and 182) income-generating projects ranging from catering businesses; fashion and design; laundry services; arts, crafts and graphics; welding; day-care centres, etc.
Although the region has achieved a lot, its accounting officer indicated that it has faced pressing challenges of urbanisation, which is an increase in the number of people relocating to Windhoek, especially to the informal settlements. “This is putting extreme pressure on the service-rendering institutions in the region in terms of the provision and delivery of basic services of water, electricity, roads infrastructure and sanitation,” he emphasised. Another challenge is that the Khomas Regional Council did not get development budget allocations, despite the submission of several proposals. Despite the latter, the council has used its own resources to implement projects.
Additionally, inadequate urban and rural land for development made it difficult for the region to effect development.
“However, as a council, the goal remains efficient and effective service delivery in order to improve the living conditions of our people,” he continued.