ONGWEDIVA - The Ongwediva Town Council has aligned its 2021/2022 budget towards addressing socio-economic challenges facing its residents.
Speaking at a budget presentation on Tuesday afternoon, mayor Taarah Shalyefu said council has prioritised the delivery of serviced land and basic amenities, as well as the upgrading of settlement areas to proclaimed townships. Council will also look into promoting investments and local development, and improve the safety and social welfare of its residents.
“Council has prioritised key developmental projects such as land delivery, urban planning and the surveying of townships, provision of service infrastructure, crop field compensation, the maintenance of gravel roads and the acquisition of machinery and equipment,” observed Shalyefu. Council has budgeted N$146.5 million, which is an increase of 1.5% from last year’s N$144.8 million.
Of this budget, about N$29 million is devoted to capital projects, representing 20% of the total budget. 80% is devoted to operational expenditure and provisions, amounting to N$117.2 million. The operational expenditure includes bulk water purchases amounting to N$25.8 million, crop field compensation to pave the way for development at the town at a cost of N$5 million, and repairs and the maintenance of roads, other municipal infrastructure and machinery and equipment at a cost of over N$10 million. The council has further pledged to finalise projects, such as the tarring of Church Street, and the construction of sewerage reticulation services at Extension 15.
The council will also heed to regional governor Elia Irimari’s call to construct a sports field during the current financial year.
Irimari has been appealing to local authorities in the region to put up sports and recreational facilities.
According to Shalyefu, the construction of the sports facility will enhance youth development through their participation in various sports codes as well as promoting tourism in Ongwediva. Thus far, an area has been identified and cleared during the last financial year. Fencing materials have already been purchased.
“For this financial year, council has made a provision of N$1 million to commence with the construction of ablution facilities,” continued Shalyefu.
On housing, the council committed over N$800 000 towards the surveying of land at different extensions at the town. In addition, the council will construct sewerage reticulation services at Extension 15 at N$6.3 million, and Sky Phase 1 at N$5.6 million. To supplement the construction of the sewerage reticulation services, council will also acquire a new N$147 826 submersible pump to replace the existing pumps that have already reached their peak.
Storm water channels will also be constructed at critical areas to avoid still-standing water in the town at a cost of N$1.3 million.