Keetmanshoop on Development Path


By Frederick Philander KEETMANSHOOP A planned fundraising dinner to help generate N$800 000 for the erection of a horseshoe open market for small business people, as well as the establishment of an aqua-tourism community project, are but two ventures initiated by National Council member, Hilma Nicanor, in the Keetmanshoop Urban constituency. Several top Namibian business personalities, such as millionaire Frans Indongo and fishing tycoon Angel Tordesillas, will be among the invited guests for the fundraising dinner at the Canton Hotel. “I am extremely delighted that most of the invited guests have indicated interest to attend the event tonight. I hope to raise the much needed money for the building of the horseshoe market, where small business people can sell their wares and tourists can buy arts and craft products. The money is also needed to address unemployment and help alleviate poverty among the marginalized members of the community,” said Nicanor. Presently, people at the town operate on an individual basis as street vendors basically anywhere in the town. “I see the horseshoe market concept as the solution to many consumer problems. In my view, prospective buyers can go to a central place and not haphazardly buy from small business people everywhere and anywhere in a disorganized fashion and manner,” she said. The guest of honour at tonight’s dinner and the official opening of the constituency office tomorrow will be the Minister of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development, John Pandeni. “I am also very happy to say that the structure of our own aqua-tourism community project has just been completed in cooperation with the ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources and the project will be officially opened some time in December. We are just waiting on the suitable fish species before we can proceed with production,” Nicanor asserted. According to her, some 30 youths will be initially employed in the aqua project, which caters for agriculture as well as tourism. “After a thorough feasibility study the ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources availed N$150 000 for the infrastructure consisting of six breeding ponds in a secured encampment on the outskirts of Tseiblaagte. Our project will operate slightly differently from other similar existing ones elsewhere in the country. From discarded water from the ponds we want to grow products to help solve the food shortage in the town,” said Nicanor, who indicated that a camping facility will also form part of the aqua project. A number of community members have undergone intense training to run the aqua project on behalf of the community. “I think both projects are viable propositions for the development of the town and its people. Fish eating needs to be promoted and the fish from the local project will provide for all the needs, eventually, I hope,” she said.