The Omuthiya Town Council yesterday announced its plans to upgrade a stretch of gravel road measuring 700 metres along Extension One to bitumen standards, bringing much relief to residents who, for years, endured dust from the busy route.
Six million dollars was set aside for this project that will commence soon. Plans to upgrade the road have been gathering dust for a long time on council’s desks, despite several requests from members of the public.
The stretch of road that will be upgraded connects Omuthiya to villages leading to Onake. “The project was supposed to be undertaken last year but the budget was slashed from N$10 million during the mid-term budget review hence the reason we are only tarring this stretch of road. The public should be aware that as more funds are availed, we will also tar other roads once planning and design have been completed, including the road leading to the police station and Nakaziko street that connects two prominent schools,” said town mayor Katrina Uusiku when she tabled the budget of N$64.52 million that has increased by 21% from the 2019/20 budget of N$50.85 million.
Total expenditure is projected to increase to N$85 million from N$62 under the current year under review.
Motivating the budget, Uusiku said it is pro-poor centred to help grow and accommodate all sectors of the town.
With that stated, tariffs for the financial year 2020/21 will remain unchanged, with low-income group benefiting the most with a tariff of N$17 for a unit of water below the N$17.65 per cubic charged by Namwater to council. The middle and high income group are being charged N$20 and businesses are being levied N$27 and N$40 for government institutions.
Further heeding to public outcry, the mayor announced that council has also availed funds to be used for the construction of a community hall.
Over the years, residents have been holding public meetings in a local church, a situation that has not been sitting well with the masses.
“Hopefully, in two to three years, we can complete the project, depending on how much revenue we collected,” stressed the acting CEO, Simon Nghuulondo, while expanding on the projects.
The Trade Fair Centre will also to be developed pending the surveying and compensation of homesteads in the area.
Other projects budged for include an amount of N$2 million for stage two of the open market being planned for that area.
It was further announced that council has made a provision of N$10 million for land compensation for township land in areas of Omainda and Omadhiya A & B, although this depends on ministerial approval.
Meanwhile, council approved the increment of worker’s salaries by 7%. Currently, the remuneration package is at N$12.78 million, while the allowances for local authorities remained the same on N$510 922.
According to Uusiku, council has a seen an increase from N$47.48 million during 2019/20 expenditure budget to N$66.4 million. This is necessitated by the anticipated sales of erven that is likely to yield N$9 million, as well an increase in operating costs from N$24 million to N$31 million under 2020/21 financial year.
In terms of capital projects, council has made a budget provision of N$18 million, a slight increase from the N$13.7 million for 2019/20.