Land Shortage Blocks Town’s Growth

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By Kuvee Kangueehi

HELAO NAFIDI

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Helao Nafidi Town Council, Chris Shivolo, says reluctance by some members of the community to avail land to the council is seriously hampering development efforts at the town.

The CEO said some community members have not accepted that the area has been declared a town and by refusing to part with their land, they are preventing the development of the town.

Speaking to New Era, Shivolo said the majority of the people at Helao Nafidi are illiterate and live in poverty and many pressure groups are capitalizing on these factors to influence the people negatively.

The CEO said some of these groups have never been to the north and do not know the living conditions of the people, but are influencing the community negatively.

He noted that some community members have taken a very hostile position against the town council and are using the land that they occupy to frustrate the council.

“The land is a very important commodity to the town council as one cannot have investors or develop urban areas if there is no land available.”

Shivolo cited a recent case of some people refusing to avail land to the Ministry of Education to build a multi-purpose centre for the youth.

The centre would have been constructed to the tune of N$10 million through funds from the Millennium Challenge Account.

The CEO said this did not only deny the town new infrastructure but the education facility could have also benefited many of the youth at the town and the entire Ohangwena Region.

He added that the irony is that while the community is blocking development at the town, it is at the same time demanding services such as clean water, electricity and job opportunities.

Shivolo however noted that he is happy with the commercial development of the town. Council is currently servicing plots at Oshikango and Ohangwena, while private investors are on the increase.

Meanwhile, the Chairperson of the Management Committee of the Helao Nafidi Town Council and the Swapo Party Coordinator for Oshikango District Philip Namundjebo says he is concerned about political tensions ahead of the local authority elections at Omuthiya.

Namundjebo said since Omuthiya will become the regional centre of the Oshikoto Region, development at the town is crucial.

He urged the residents of Omuthiya to vote wisely and to ensure that the Swapo Party wins all seven seats.

The district coordinator said he has noticed that if one party does not control the council, the town does not develop at the pace it should.

He said towns such as Usakos, Karibib, Okakarara and Opuwo are classical examples, as councillors at these towns are most of the time involved in inter-nal fights and politicking.

Namundjebo said Omuthiya does not need political infighting and that history has proven that when Swapo Party councillors are in the majority, development takes place faster.

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