ONGWEDIVA – Oshana governor Elia Irimari says affordable urban land delivery for both housing and business development is moving at a snail’s pace in the region.
Whilst giving account of the region’s activities for the 2019/2020 financial year recently, Irimari pledged to work with the three local authorities in the region to fast-track land delivery.
“My office together with our three towns will be spearheading innovative approaches in addressing lack of access to affordable decent houses for ultra-low and low-income earners in the region,” said Irimari. During the year under review, the Oshakati, Ongwediva and Ondangwa local authorities have provided a combined 3 563 plots. The region is also in the process of establishing about 11 townships with a combined 2 798 plots to address the land shortage.
The governor said the demand for land is exacerbated by the high influx urban migration of people in search of jobs, especially the youth.
In terms of employment, the region has created 1 800 permanent and 800 temporary jobs in both government and the private sector.
To mitigate the devastating drought experienced during the last years, the government through the drought relief programme supported 15 367 households with 74 001 benefiting in the region.
About 2 375 local farmers also benefited from a government ploughing services subsidy offered through the Dry Land Production Programme while more than 4 000 farmers also benefited from the subsidised sale of cowpea.
Meanwhile, Irimari also voiced concern over the high number of gender-based violence and rape cases. The governor said the region is also haunted by income inequality and a high unemployed rate which currently stands at 32% amongst the youth.
Moving forward, the region has pledged to prioritise and direct funding towards sectors such as agriculture, water, technology and road infrastructure to address human development and capacity building challenges in the region.
Furthermore, the region will also fast-track the implementation of capital projects and other developmental programmes to stimulate economic activities in the country.
“This year we had a symposium aimed at accelerating capital projects implementation, and improving service delivery and empowering local businesses,” said Irimari.