By Frederick Philander
The inauguration of the Rehoboth Urban West Constituency office marks a giant step in bringing government services to the country’s people.
President Hifikepunye Pohamba said this in a speech delivered on his behalf by Minister of Regional and Local government, Housing and Rural Development, Jerry Ekandjo, on Wednesday.
A large number of invited guests and the town’s inhabitants attended the event considered to be a milestone for the rural town.
“The office will serve as a venue where the residents of this constituency can come together to discuss matters related to the socio-economic development of this constituency,” Pohamba said.
He reiterated the Government’s commitment to the implementation of its policy of decentralisation.
“To date, various government services have been devolved from central government to regional and local authorities in order to maximise the participation of our people, especially those at grassroots in the planning, decision making process and the implementation of policies and programmes that daily affect their lives,” the Head of State said.
He said the policy of decentralisation holds many benefits for the people because it incorporates development activities that are initiated from grassroots level.
Constituency offices like the one in Rehoboth are being put in place at more than N$1,7 million to improve service delivery and increase efficiency of civil servants entrusted with the task of implementing government policies and programmes.
“Through regional and local structures, the needs of our people can be addressed timely to improve their wellbeing. I therefore call upon the people of this constituency to utilise this facility responsibly and fully participate in the planning, implementation and evaluation of policies and decisions affecting their daily lives. In this manner they will be able to contribute meaningfully to the upliftment of their communities,” he said.
Pohamba also referred to the fact the office was constructed by a local building contractor that employed 50 workers.
“By engaging a local constructor, the Government is pursuing its objective of empowering our people economically. I have no doubt that the people, who were employed on this project, have gained skills and knowledge, which they can use to find employment at other construction projects in future,” he said.
The President further urged Rehoboth residents to engage in income-generating activities.
“The small and medium enterprises sector is one of the pillars of our national economy. In fact SME’s are the largest employer in the country and contribute immensely to the socio-economic advancement of our people through self-employment business projects generating much needed incomes. They also play an important role in our poverty alleviation strategy. When this sector is provided with the necessary support, it can provide significant benefits for our people,” he asserted.
He urged the inhabitants to make use of the resources found in their area to create development projects such as brick making, needlework, gardening, carpentry and other community projects aimed at improving their living standards.