By Staff Reporter
Epukiro Post 3 -Scores of Epukiro constituents last weekend witnessed the launch of the Epukiro Constituency Development Trust.
The community resolved to set up a trust fund last year to address social, moral and economic challenges facing the constituents. Despite being one of the oldest reserves in Namibia, residents say the constituency is the least developed.
The trust was established to catalyse development in the constituency.
The trust, according to Deputy Director Planning and Development Services at the Omaheke Regional Council Jogbeth Karuuombe, is in line with the decentralisation policy, which aims at taking services closer to the people.
Karuuombe was speaking on behalf of Omaheke Regional Governor, Laura McLeod.
Karuuombe said the nature of development was that it was a long and slow process, which needs the involvement of all including community members themselves who are beneficiaries of development.
Karuuombe and other speakers emphasised the need for community participation for any development process to succeed.
“The contribution from the beneficiaries is the cornerstone of any donor assistance as it demonstrates the commitment of the beneficiaries to their own development,” she said.
Epukiro became a constituency in 2003 and as such, Karuuombe said, its constituents should fight for their development.
A community member urged the constituency to unite and work hard to fast track development considering that the area has not been developed since more than 80 years ago.
“Eighty-four years of isolation means that we have to double the speed to catch up and reverse the trend,” said Sandi Tjaronda.
He said with development coming to the area, human capital that left for greener pastures would be redeployed in Epukiro, the rural economy would be activated, while physical infrastructure would also be developed.
“You cannot keep people where there is no development. People move to where there is electricity, but some will come back to work in this area,” he said.
Tjaronda also emphasised the need for the development to be people-centered if it were to change the living standards of the people. He said people knew what their priorities were, hence their involvement would ensure that they get what they need.
If the concept of having a development trust works, Epukiro’s example may set the pace for development for other constituencies, said Vekondja Tjikuzu.
He said it was important to develop people for them in turn to build roads, schools and other basic amenities that the communities need.
The trust has seven trustees, namely Governor Laura McLeod, Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Killus Nguvauva, Epukiro Constituency Councillor Brave Tjizera, Titus Mbaeva, Hiskia Tjatjitua, Alphas Katjivirue and Sylivia Ngaruka.
The deed of trust makes provision for a minimum of two and a maximum of 20 trustees.
At last year’s meeting during which the community resolved to establish the trust, 53 people made pledges in the form of cash and livestock as their contributions to the fund, whose monetary value was around N$32 000.
However, six people honoured their pledges while none of the livestock has been collected because many were waiting for the trust’s constitution to be drawn and the bank account to be opened.
The account has about N$12 000.
As a means of sourcing money for the fund, N$20 will be deducted from every head of cattle sold in Epukiro. The N$20 is divided between the fund and the Stock Theft Prevention Fund.
The constituency has a population of 7 135 who own 49 000 large stock and 20 000 small stock. The area has four schools, two clinics, a farmer’s association and a cooperative.