OTJINENE – From a mega Shoprite shopping complex to well-resourced magistrate courts, police stations and two service stations, amongst many other retailers, the settlement of Otjinene is on the verge of coming full circle as a fully-fledged town.
With its sights set on becoming the second biggest centre in the vast Omaheke region behind Gobabis, Otjinene Village Council’s leadership has now turned attention to the upgrading and rehabilitation of streets and roads, as well as electrifying of houses in its various locations.
The village council’s CEO Inge Kaveterua shared with New Era that they are now concentrating on upgrading all the settlement’s streets and roads to low volume standards, especially those in the formal areas, and millions of Namibian dollars have already been invested in the development.
“As a growing town, we want to continue with the upward trajectory in terms of infrastructure and economic development. The interesting thing about development is that it is chained; you can’t boast beautiful buildings and all these things but your roads are not up to standard. You can’t embark on a housing scheme, even if it’s low-cost houses, without accessible roads. So, that is why we are continuing with the upgrading of our streets and roads, and we planning to move with the same speed.”
“We actually started with this project last year – and with the financial assistance of the Road Fund Administration (RFA), we have been able to cover decent kilometres across the various areas of the town. Once we are done with the formal areas, we are hoping that the same will be done in the informal areas, even if it’s not the same low-volume standard of upgrades. Most of our roads were in a very bad state, and the low volume upgrades will bring a huge relief to the people,” stated Kaveterua.
In whichever capital project they embark on, Kaveterua said local youth empowerment is always at the centre of their hearts, although a shortage of required skills remains a challenge many a time.
“And that’s why you would see that in most of our major projects here within the constituency, be it roads or construction of houses, our local youth will be considered for employment opportunities, especially from the opening stage of the projects where fewer skills are required.”
“Obviously, there is always an issue of lack of much-needed skills among our youth here in Otjinene, as not many have gone to VTCs or have prior work experience. But where unskilled general workers are needed in our projects, we make sure that they are included and benefit,” she added.