OMUTHIA - The Oshikoto Regional Council has acknowledged that residents who complain about poor infrastructure and inadequate services in the region are justified in their criticism. The spokesperson of the regional council, Petrus Nehale confirmed that the region experiences shortage of daily needs such as water points, proper roads and clinics.
“We acknowledge the fact that, the issue of poor road networks, access to potable water and healthcare services remains a challenge, not only in Eengodi and Nehale Lya Mpingana constituencies, but in the region as a whole,” he said. The regional council guaranteed the residents that strategic plans and annual work plans are put forward to tackle the issue and it is just a matter of implementation.
“We are doing all we can, with the limited resources at our disposal and within the parameters of our mandate, to mitigate some of these socio-economic hardships confronting our region,” he added. He further said the regional council is not directly mandated to construct or rehabilitate roads and healthcare facilities, as well as the provision of water in all parts of the region, however, it held engagements and site visits with relevant stakeholders such as ministries of works and agriculture to address issues affecting the region.
Nehale said the council visited the national offices of these key stakeholders last year, and additional involvements are expected to follow up and discuss further on these issues at a national level. “The council is set to host the Minister of Works and Transport, John Mutorwa for further engagement and familiarisation with issues on the ground,” he stated.
To address the issue of roads in the region, the spokesperson said the council developed and approved a five-year roads master plan, which identified roads of priority and was submitted to the Ministry of Works and Transport and Roads Authority, for budgetary provision and implementation. In the meantime, the council will also submit names of identified access roads in the region to the ministry of works for consideration and implementation.
“The Engoyi-Omuntele, as well as the Onyati-Onkumbula roads, are amongst other roads planned to be upgraded and constructed, as of this financial year,” he revealed.
He continued by saying that on the water issue, four pipeline projects were undertaken and completed in Olukonda, Omuntele, Okankolo and Eengodi constituencies respectively. Meanwhile, the much anticipated Oshivelo – Omutsegwonime pipeline will also be undertaken this year. Furthermore, he said the drilling and installation of five boreholes to the tune of N$5 million was undertaken at King Kauluma Resettlement, King Kauluma East, Ontandashiye, Oshaanika and Ombuga Yeembidi and are set to be completed in the new financial year.
He also mentioned that specific points closer to the people were pinpointed where healthcare centres may be built. “We would like to reassure all inhabitants and members of the public that the council will fight tooth and nail to strengthen stakeholders’ engagements to collectively address issues affecting the region, in an effort to uplift the living standards of our people,” he added.