WINDHOEK – The Omusati Region has been allocated a development budget of N$260.3 million for the 2019/20 financial year. During the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) the region’s total development budget is set to increase to N$283.8 million in the 2020/21 financial year before falling back to N$261.1 million in 2021/22.
Commenting on his region’s development budget allocation, Omusati Regional Governor Erginus Endjala noted that as regional leadership, one can never really be satisfied with the allocation given the multitude of pressing matters on the ground. “What you have planned and what you are able to do is never the same as it all boils down to the availability of funds in the budget,” Endjala told New Era.
At the top of the development budget expenditure for Omusati is N$30 million allocated for the construction of a boarding primary school at Omakange. This project, being implemented through the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, is scheduled to receive another N$15 million during the 2020/21 financial year. According to Governor Endjala, the Omakange school is surrounded by marginalised communities, some of whom travel up to 40km to get to the school. “A hostel with all the modern amenities being constructed at that school will sustain many of the pupils from the area and will definitely encourage many to attend school,” Endjala explained.
The Education, Arts and Culture ministry will also implement the upgrading of basic education facilities in the region to the tune of almost N$10 million and will construct a N$5 million regional library in Outapi. In addition, the same ministry will oversee the renovation of schools at a cost of N$7.3 million as well as the construction of a N$2.5 million primary school in Outapi.
Then, through the Ministry of Health and Social Services the Okahao hospital will be upgraded and renovated for N$25 million. This hospital is set to receive another N$20 million during the 2020/21 financial year and another N$10 million in 2021/22. “The last time I was at that hospital you could even see with the cracks in the consulting rooms that the entire structure could collapse. This allocation is a priority above priorities,” said Endjala. In the same vein, the health ministry will oversee the maintenance and repair of health infrastructure for N$2.8 million, which is an area that will see a steady increase during the MTEF. In 2020/21 this area will receive N$4.6 million and it will decrease slightly to N$4.2 million during the 2021/22 financial year. Moreover, the Ministry of Works and Transport will oversee a N$10 million project to construct access roads to schools and clinics in the region.
In terms of agriculture, a significant number of areas have received allocations, most notably N$11.7 million allocated to the Namibia Agriculture Mechanisation and Seed Improvement Project. Also, N$7 million has been allocated to green schemes in the region while N$5.4 million goes to the establishment of agro-processing facilities. However, Endjala noted that he would have wanted to see more allocated to agriculture, which he called the “lifeblood” of the people in his region.
Another priority area for Omusati is the construction of services infrastructure for which a total of N$35 million has been allocated and which will be implemented through the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development. This will ensure the construction of services infrastructure in Oshikuku, Ruacana, Outapi Extension 8, Tsandi, Onesi and Okalongo.