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Otjozondjupa regional address highlights drought and developments

2019-06-11  Staff Reporter

Otjozondjupa regional address highlights drought and developments

Kaylan Shipanga

OTJIWARONGO - Drought, crime and safety, and gender based violence were among the concerns highlighted in Otjozondjupa governor Otto Ipinge’s 2019 State of the Region [Sora] address last week.

In the address, delivered at Otjiwarongo, Ipinge discussed the region’s current circumstances as it deals with severe drought, noting that a total of 4 736 cattle, 1 766 goats, 1 174 sheep, 18 donkeys and 29 horses have died between October 2018 and March 2019 in the Okahandja, Okakarara and Otjiwarongo constituencies. 

Last week, Otjozondjupa regional disaster risk officials announced 3 905 households will receive food as drought relief this month. 

During his regional address, the governor advised local farmers to assist each other and cautioned against “unpatriotic Namibians” who are burning grass to prevent other farmers from grazing their cattle. Ipinge also warned residents against chasing away farmers from other regions who are in search of suitable grazing space.

“There are farmers coming from other regions but we don’t want to chase them away. The situation on the ground is bad and we have to assist each other. It will be against government if I hear that we are chasing people,” Ipinge said. 

He further advised farmers to ensure their animals are not wandering on the region’s highways, a leading cause of road accidents. 

Ipinge also expressed concern over the increase in crimes such as assault, robbery, murder and traffic offences in the Otjozondjupa Region during the 2018/2019 financial year compared to the year before, as well as the continual rise of domestic violence despite government awareness campaigns. However, the governor was pleased with the six percent decrease in car accidents, 24 percent decline in road accident fatalities, and 21 percent decline in car accident injuries. 

Among the region’s achievements over the last financial year, Ipinge noted the progress of several development projects including the completion of the Outpatient Department for Casualty and Dental at Okahandja Hospital and the continuation of the third phase of the Okahandja dual carriageway road project, which is expected to be completed in November 2019 at the cost of N$ 1.08 billion. He commended the efforts of the ministry of information and MTC of bringing cell phone  network to rural communities in which nine new towers were constructed and under review. Additionally, in the 2018/2019 financial year, the Otjozondjupa Region saw a total of 4 698 households benefit from the San feeding program while just over N$49 million was spent by the Ministry of Land Reform to acquire resettlement farms in the region.

During the last financial year, several projects were implemented directly from the Office of the Governor including a N$500 000 donation toward the construction of a community hall in Kalkfeld and close to N$100 000 raised for the construction of a boys’ hostel block at Ludwig-Ndinda Primary School to replace the current corrugated iron sheet structure that the school uses to accommodate learners. 
Kaylan Shipanga is an Information Officer in the Ministry of Information and Communivcation Technology (MICT) Otjozondjupa regional office.

2019-06-11  Staff Reporter

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