Ruacana Beckons

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As Local Tourism Booms at Border Village By Engel Nawatiseb WINDHOEK Ruacana is experiencing a local tourism boom, thanks to the recent heavy rains. Secretary of the Ruacana Village Council Victoria Kapenda has commended local citizens for contributing immensely towards tourism growth at Ruacana. Kapenda said many Namibians have lately shown interest in the Ruacana waterfalls and other attractive sceneries that the village offers, when compared to the past when only foreign tourists visited the village. She stated that local tourists came from all parts of the country, who include research teams and academicians, the youth as well as people taking time off to enjoy a break. She however noted that tourists from South Africa and Europe continue to visit her village in big numbers. “We are so to speak scoring double in terms of monetary investment from both local and foreign tourists and it is encouraging to witness the long-term economic potential of our area. As much as such visits boost local economic stability, both businesses and the village council benefit directly from such investments.” Kapenda said that residents of Ruacana are committed to the payment for services rendered by the council and have shown dedication to participate in council’s activities. She noted that a positive working relationship exists between villagers and local authority leaders, a signal of positive collaboration between stakeholders at the village. The Ruacana village council has currently put up a valuation roll in a bid to verify the potential of business and residential erven before potential investors could be invited to declare interest to set up businesses at the village. The council is also preparing for the hand over ceremony of a modern office facility worth close to N$2 million. The office block will house the council chambers and would consist of storing facilities to ensure proper safekeeping of council’s documents and other assets. The secretary further told New Era that her council is developing strategies aimed at marketing the town and its potential to the rest of the world. “Our village was recently proclaimed and needs the necessary exposure to present its fullest potential to the outside categories. We therefore need stakeholder participation to realize our ultimate goal, to attract foreign direct investment. Yes, government has already pledged its support but we need more than that, we need non-governmental agencies and the private sector to make their presence felt. Now is the right opportunity to come to Ruacana. Indeed nobody will regret coming here sooner but will definitely regret coming here later,” said Kapenda. According to her, the water flow at the falls has picked up tremendously due to the recent heavy rains that resulted in above-average water levels at the hydro-power plant. “This tourist attraction is unique to our country and must be explored by young and old. Young children should bring their grandparents here as a gesture of paying tribute to their upbringing under difficult circumstances because we owe our successes in life to their dedication to make us who we are today.”