Consultation is key, says Mbambo

31 July 2019 | Local News

Kavango East regional governor Samuel Mbambo says consultation among stakeholders should be made a priority when planning and implementing community projects.

Mbambo made the remark during his 2018/19 State of the Region Address (SORA), in which he expressed concern over the lack of consultation on infrastructure development projects intended to benefit the masses.

Kavango East Region was allocated a budget of N$208.2 million for the year under review.

He said challenges such as inadequate rural and urban electrification, a poor road network and inadequate water infrastructure were the result of poor planning by the implementing authorities.

The lack of water infrastructure in rural areas is a big problem, as there are several communities without clean drinking water, which poses a health risk.

These include areas such as Nyondo village in Ndonga Linena Constituency, where the inhabitants get water either from the river, which is a couple of kilometres away, or from nearby floodplains where they have dug wells.

Also, thousands of people in the region do not have electricity in their homes.

“The region experiences inadequate rural and urban electrification, which is due to the lack of proper planning and coordination among relevant stakeholders, as well as inadequate financial resources,” Mbambo said.

On the issue of poor roads in Kavango East, Mbambo also blamed a lack of consultation among stakeholders, as well as a lack of money for implementing projects.

Kavango East is one of the regions with the worst roads in Namibia. Most of the roads are sandy and in some areas there are no feeder roads, which forces people to walk over 30 kilometres to reach the main roads.

Mbambo said the time has come for proper consultation on implementing the Road Network Master Plan for the Kavango East Region, which was drafted many years ago.

“The Kavango East Region has poor road networks in rural areas due to a lack of proper consultation, funding and implementation. We need to review the Road Network Master Plan,” he said.

Mbambo also talked about the completion of stalled projects in the region.

Some projects ground to a halt as long as four years ago and it is unclear when they will be completed.

They include the N$120 million Rundu abattoir, which was expected to be operational in 2017, the N$250 million Uvhungu-Vhungu dairy and the N$16 million fisheries ministry regional offices at Rundu.

Farmers have been pleading with the government to finish the abattoir project, as they have no market for their livestock amid a crippling drought.

As for the projects completed in the year under review, Mbambo mentioned the oxidation pond and sewerage system at Ndiyona Settlement, which had been completed at a cost of N$14.5 million. The Divundu village council office block was completed at a cost of N$14.2 million. Other completed projects include the renovations of schools, and the construction of 12 single quarters and four houses at the Divundu correctional facility.

KENYA KAMBOWE

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