ONGWEDIVA – Swapo’s Omusati candidates for the upcoming regional council and local authority elections say they will prioritise water provision, rural electrification and eradicating unemployment amongst the youth and women in their respective constituencies.
Other issues to receive their attention include poor cellular network coverage and sanitation.
The implementation of the burning issues is aligned to the Swapo manifesto presented last year.
Hans Haikali, who was nominated to stand as the ruling party candidate for Etayi constituency, said although much has been done already, there is still a dire need for safe and clean drinking water.
Haikali said there are water pipelines in the constituency, but the pressure is too low, leaving people without water for prolonged periods.
“People can go up to seven months without water hence they turn to earth dams,” said Haikali.
Haikali further vows to address network problems and advocates programmes that will uplift the youth, women and veterans if voted into power.
As a means to plough back into the community, Haikali who grew up as an orphan, said he will especially give sponsorships to orphans at his private school at Onheleiwa.
The Swapo contestant for Onesi constituency, Festus Simon Petrus, said his top priority would be to advocate programmes that will create employment for the youth and people in the age groups above 35 but who are unemployed and at the same time do not qualify for any government grants.
Petrus said he will also advocate upgrading the Tsandi-Epalela road to bitumen standard.
The 50km gravel road has been an eyesore for many years especially during the rainy season.
Although Petrus said the majority of people have potable water, he added: “We still have those who do not have and those are the people I will focus on. Equally, we are also in need of electricity in the constituency.”
At Outapi, Immanuel Shikongo said his primary focus will be water provision and sanitation at peri-urban areas and growth points.
Shikongo, who currently serves as the chairperson of the management committee at Outapi, said many of the areas where large groups of people settle do not have water or sanitation provision.
He said the situation is not commendable and is a health hazard.
Also on his agenda is to enhance food security in Outapi.
“We want to train our people to produce food so that they can be self-sufficient. This we can do if everyone in the constituency puts up a backyard garden,” said Shikongo.
Shikongo also wants the vendors both within and outside the town and in the villages to have a suitable place to sell their produce and goods and thereby create an income for themselves.
In this way, Shikongo said, the local people can create jobs for themselves and others and subsequently reduce the unemployment rate in the constituency.
In addition to reducing the unemployment rate, it will also reduce the number of people flocking from the villages to urban areas, he added.
Equally, Shikongo said there is also a need to electrify more areas in Outapi.
At the moment, he says, electricity is only provided at schools and clinics, however in areas where there are no government institutions there is no electricity.
Issues of poor network coverage, access roads, recreational facilities and advancing sport in his constituency will be amongst some of the issues he will tackle if he is voted into power.
Ogongo’s candidate Daniel Iilende said he wants people in the constituency to produce food.
“We are fortunate to have the Ogongo campus in our constituency, hence we want our students here to come out in the community and assist us in putting up backyard gardens,” said Iilende.
He will also push for finalising the rural development centre.
The centre’s primary focus is that the community has access to information.
Iilende furthermore said he wants the community especially the youth to receive training in vocational trades.
In addition, just as the other contesting candidates Iilende also wants the connection of roads, such as the Epato-Iipanda-Ombathi road, and better network coverage.
Amongst the key issues of the new Swapo-nominated candidates, as raised in the party’s manifesto launched by President Hage Geingob last year, is infrastructural development.
In the manifesto the ruling party highlighted that food security and self-sufficiency are critical aspects of national development, hence measures to achieve food security are outlined in the developmental plans such as NDP5 and Vision 2030.
In terms of water provision, the ruling party promised to rehabilitate ageing water supply facilities and develop new national water infrastructure to ensure water security at both domestic and industrial level.
On the youth, the party promised to continue advocating programmes aimed at empowering the youth to contribute to national development.