By Wezi Tjaronda
Sesfontein residents await the switching on of electricity in the settlement next week.
The process was scheduled for this week but according to Sesfontein Constituency Councillor, Hendrick Goabaeb, it has been delayed until after next week. He could, however, not disclose the date on which the electricity would be switched on.
With electricity infrastructure already in place, people believe they can now lead normal lives.
At the moment, only one generator provides electricity to all the Government institutions and is failing to meet demand.
Goabaeb said many services would now come to Sesfontein because of the availability of electricity.
He said he is scheduled to meet the Director General of NBC today to discuss the broadcaster’s extension of services to Sesfontein. Although putting up solar panels could also do this, Goabaeb said the panels are stolen from time to time.
“We are cut off from communication because of lack of TV and radio services. People learn a lot from communicating with others through these services,” he added.
Electricity will make it easier for clinic staff to deliver babies, and encourage learners to study especially at night. It would also save diesel for a local lodge, which uses 160 litres of diesel a day.
An enrolled nurse at the Sesfontein Clinic, Bons Uararavi, said the development would make it easier to attend to emergencies and also improve storage of quality control samples of the Voluntary Counselling and Testing Centre housed at the clinic.
Because of lack of electricity, patients are at times requested to bring candles when they visit the clinic for treatment.
He said at times the generator goes for a month or two without fuel, which makes it difficult for the clinic to deal with emergency situations.
Principal of Elias Amxab Combined School, Julius Kaujova, said the shortage of electricity was one contributing factor to the poor performance of the Grade 10 learners at his school. Learners study by candlelight.
“They study in their rooms on their beds, there are no proper studies,” said Kaujova.
The school also suspended most of its activities, such as life skills programmes and its debating society, which the school planned to hold in the evenings. The afternoons are dedicated to remedial classes, he said.
A co-manager of the Fort Sesfontein Lodge, Mildred Lenkeit said the lodge has been waiting for electricity since September last year.
“We were told it would be switched on last Friday, and then Monday and then again Friday. I hope we will not wait for too long,” she said.
Lenkeit said electricity would enable the lodge to save costs associated with running on a diesel generator for 17 hours every day.
She said some of the guests at the lodge were elderly couples who need light throughout the night, but the lodge switched off the generator at midnight.
Electricity would enable people to sit and watch television or work on their computers.
She said SOS had also stopped flying in the night because of the electricity problem.
The councillor said the area also lacks infrastructure from which companies can conduct business. He said NamPost could have extended their services to the area in 2005 but did not want to build its own building to operate from.
Goabaeb, who is in Windhoek, said he met some people dealing with SMEs to construct an open market complete with stalls from which vendors could sell their wares. He also encouraged local people to invest in buildings to facilitate development in the area.