By Fifi Rhodes The Government’s policy on decentralization, which culminated in the proclamation of various towns and villages after Independence, has been of particular benefit to the town of Ongwediva in northern Namibia, which has seen phenomenal growth in a short space of time. “The town has been properly planned and surveyed, with all formal developments provided with modern services like reticulated water and sewerage systems, electricity, telephones and roads.” Dawid Nuyoma, chief executive of the Development Bank of Namibia, said this as he handed over a loan of N$20 million to the Ongwediva Town Council for yet another milestone infrastructure and enterprise development. “We view Ongwediva as a bustling town, and are privileged to support it in achieving this strategic objective, which will broaden its revenue base and help strengthen its financial viability,” he said to the Chief Executive Officer of the town, Damain Egumbo. Nuyoma said his institution was established to accelerate economic growth through infrastructure and enterprise development. “By financing projects like airports, bulk infrastructure developments, telecommunications networks and roads we provide a link to the future we envision for ourselves and the country,” the CEO said. Egumbo said in his statement that the decision of the town council to procure financial capital from the Development Bank of Namibia was motivated by the positive developments and rapid growth that the town has experienced over the past five years in both housing and business. “Council itself invested over N$45 million over the same period in service infrastructure alone and another N$10 million in crop field compensation, formalizing of settlement areas, township establishments and surveys. This bright move has resulted in Ongwediva attracting investments worth over N$80 million over the five years,” Egumbo told the press. The funds are intended for Extension 11 township. Egumbo said a total of N$24 million is needed for the project and with the loan of N$20 million; the council will finance the N$4 million shortfall from its operational resources. The project is expected to be completed over the next 12 months comprising three phases not overlapping one another to ensure that the first delivery of approximately 50 -100 erven are ready for development within six months after the commencement of construction. The town-planning layout as approved by both the Township Board and the Surveyor General consists of 365 erven for middle-income, high-income groups as well as townhouses, four business erven, four institutional erven, one sports ground, two public spaces and one local authority site. “The unemployed will be invited to participate in the development through employment and subcontracting on the project,” Eugumbo said.
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