OSHIVELO – Located centrally between Omuthiya and Tsumeb in Oshikoto region is the Oshivelo settlement, with a historical connotation as an animal disease control point. Oshivelo has set its sights on transforming into a modern settlement.
The settlement also has a colonial aspect, as it served as a checkpoint where people travelling from the northern part to the south in pursuit of job opportunities would be screened and issued permits.
It also served as an army base for the apartheid regime. Although there are calls to have the gate removed and allow free movement, the veterinary cordon fence still remains dear to the resolute of the area. Oshivelo still prides itself – and remains relevant – due to its close proximity to the Etosha National Park, which is seen as an economical growth point.
The area is also surrounded by commercial and communal farms that produce fruits and vegetables, as well as mahangu millet for the locals, thus boosting food security, while providing jobs to locals.
Oshivelo has now revamped and became home to many, thus requiring a transformation and diversification, also necessitating the provision of land as the population grows.
More features are visible from the point of entry as a sign of development, such as police station, clinics, retail stores, school and service stations and accommodation facilities that are deemed a prerequisite to any developing settlement.
According to the settlement’s control administrator, Selma Shipanga, the settlement is set up by the Oshikoto Regional Council as mandated under the Regional Authority Act no 22 of 1992 after identifying a growth point in a certain area where there is demand of government services for inhabitants.
“It was against this [background] that Oshivelo was declared a settlement in July 1999. The council took ownership of the land and the first township was done in 2004 when the settlement started with land servicing and sewer. Currently, the settlement has constructed residential houses through the Build Together project. While other institutions and individuals are also coming on board,” she said.
“There is a difference at Oshivelo now, compared to the past. We all passed through Oshivelo when going to the south or north and one can see it has been revamped; we have an upgraded school, a clinic, and a police station with holding cells. We also have employees moving to Oshivelo, which is a good sign when it comes to the settlement development.”
Despite the achievements and potential in the growth of the settlement, the transition is still marred by a couple of challenges.
The administrator, however, said due to the resilience and hard work, they have managed to complete the establishment of a new township and surveying of envisaged extensions to address future land demand.
“Like any other town undergoing growth, nothing comes easy on the silver platter; it is a fact that there has to be ups and downs – and Oshivelo is no exception. Despite the visible development features and infrastructure, the settlement is faced with a few challenges that need to be addressed in order to make a dream come true for Oshivelo to be a township. Issues such as compensation, land servicing, illegal constructions lack building material shops, lack of recreational facilities and many more all hamper the progress of the settlement,” she noted.