OUTAPI - After cries of neglect by its residents, the settlement of Okalongo is scheduled to be upgraded to a town with its council skipping the village council status.
The announcement was made by the Chairperson of the Omusati Regional Council Modestus Amutse on Friday at the first Omusati council session.
Okalongo which was declared a settlement two decades ago was on the verge of being stripped of its settlement status if it is not elevated to the next status.
The settlement had until the end of last year to demonstrate its financial ability to sustain or face being downgraded.
The application to upgrade the settlement to a village council as it has been initially planned was previously shun by the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development.
The ministry at the time cited reasons of the settlement’s inability to sustain itself. At the moment, Amutse is confident that with the plan in place, Okalongo can financially sustain itself.
“We are just waiting for the town plan and design to be approved,” Amutse said in an interview over the weekend. The chairperson said council had last year invested time and monetary resources to redesign Okalongo and has thus extended the settlement from its initial borders. The expansion of the settlement means more extensions which in return can boost the local economy.
Other interventions undertaken by the regional council was to solve the land disputes which for years have blocked development and subsequently delayed the settlement from being upgraded.
A delegation led by Amutse had a one-on-one discussion with the owners of the plots in dispute.
“The on the spot solution really worked and it has brought us were we are today,” said Amutse.