By William J. Mbangula OSHAKATI The Oshana Regional Council has injected close to N$ 4 million into the development of two settlement areas – Uukwangula in the Okatana constituency and Eheke in the Ondangwa constituency – in preparation for its formal urban centre status. In an interview with New Era the Director of Planning and Development Services, Boas Munalye, confirmed the ongoing infrastructural development in the two areas. “The two settlement areas are forging ahead in the letter and spirit of the procedures for township establishment in terms of the set design and construction,” said Munalye. In terms of the Regional Councils Act of 1992, the Oshana Regional Council is to facilitate the service design and construction for the provision of basic services in the two settlements (and any other settlement area within its jurisdiction) in Okatana and Ondangwa constituencies. These services are water, sewerage, electricity, street kerbs and streets. Such basic services, Munalye noted, are the pre-requisite for all infrastructural development, including schools, health centres, open markets, warehouses, offices, shopping centres, houses and many more. In relation to the above, New Era was told the first five steps in the process of township establishment have been completed during the last five years. The Oshana Regional Council is now in the 6th step of service design and construction following the approval of the general plans by the surveyor-general. Last year, water reticulation for 300 erven was done and completed at Eheke. Currently, the council is facilitating a similar project at Uukwangula while at the same time the civil engineering company, Nexus, which was the sole tenderer, was awarded the tender to construct the oxidation ponds for the newly emerging urban centre at Eheke. “The council is of the opinion to solicit funds so as to introduce a fast track service delivery, given the fact that some public sector institutions intend to put up infrastructure at Eheke.” One urgent need why Eheke has to be transformed quickly into a formal growth centre, New Era was told, is the envisaged construction of a secondary school by the Ministry of Education and the commissioning of the Ondangwa constituency office. “In the event of a fast track service design and construction which could be completed within a year, such erven could be available for valuation and auction by the year 2007, thus opening the way to be acquired by individuals, and private and public institutions.” Apart from infrastructural development, Munalye noted, the regional authority is also busy preparing the administrative capability of the two growth centres by designating chief control officers to the two centres who will work in conjunction with settlement areas committees. These committees will assist the appointed officers in maintaining law and order as well as enforcing township services regulations. At the same time, the Directorate of Planning and Development Services will have an immediate task to conduct training workshops for the settlement areas committees on the crucial issues of township development planning, local economic development initiatives and township regulations.