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Plan to elevate Okalongo status still alive

2019-08-13  Nuusita Ashipala

Plan to elevate Okalongo status still alive

ONGWEDIVA - The Omusati Regional Council is busy with a sustainability report to determine whether Okalongo would be elevated to a town, as initially planned, or to a village council.

Chairperson of the Omusati Regional Council Modestus Amutse said the elevation of Okalongo from a mere settlement to the next level would be influenced by the sustainability report.
The sustainability research is currently being carried out.

“Our focus remains for Okalongo to be elevated to a town. Our plans, in terms of what we are required to put in place, are as is and we have so far made good progress,” said Amutse.
Amutse said the council would be in a position to inform the residents where it stands on the future of Okalongo within the next two months.

Giving clarity on the sustainability research, Amutse said the research was necessitated to compare other towns’ developmental trends before taking a decision.

Amutse said while the elevation would be determined by many other factors, the council has been busy at the settlement installing services.

Council is busy installing services at Extension 1 and 2.
“But at this stage, some services have been completely installed,” said Amutse.
The council has also completed planning Extension 3 and 4 and has already recommended to the Namibia Planning Advisory Board (NAMPAB) in the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development to register the two extensions.

NAMPAB and the urban ministry are equal partners in having Okalongo elevated.
Equally, the chairperson of the regional council said the Shack Dwellers Federation also has plans to construct over a 1 000 plots to increase residence at the town.
Regarding the need to create sustainability, Amutse said it is too early to determine whether there would be a willing investor to come to the town.

“But these are the issues we are addressing in the sustainability report to say what would attract an investor to Okalongo as opposed to nearby towns,” said Amutse.
Although Okalongo was declared a settlement two decades ago, last year it faced the prospect of losing its settlement status already.

The settlement had been given until last year to demonstrate its financial ability to sustain itself.
An earlier proposal to upgrade it to a village council was previously shot down.
In its bid to upgrade the settlement, the regional council had since last year invested time and monetary resources to add face to the settlement.

2019-08-13  Nuusita Ashipala

Tags: Omusati
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