RUNDU – The multi-million dollar rural sanitation programme, through which government plans to build 160 toilets for people living in rural areas in the two Kavango regions is nearing completion.
The project, which is being administered by the Kavango Regional Council (KRC), is valued at N$5.4 million and caters for 20 toilets in each of the eight constituencies. The Rundu Urban constituency has been excluded, because it falls within the perimeters of the Rundu Town Council. The constituencies that will benefit are only those that existed before President Hifikepunye Pohamba divided the region in two and added new constituencies based on the recommendations of the 4th Delimitation Commission recently. Information provided to New Era by the Kavango Regional Council indicates that as of September 10, 2013 the execution rate stood at 64 percent.
About N$3.4 million of the total amount was spent and the balance is now N$1.9 million. Assistant Engineer in the KRC’s planning division, Edward Kawana, told New Era last week that the project is not only aimed at providing sanitation for those living in rural areas, but is also geared towards growing SME’s since they are the ones who were given preference during the awarding of the project. He said by September 10 over 100 toilets were already completed, adding that the number has since gone up.
“SME’s that are registered were considered. On average each constructor was given four toilets to build on sites that were identified by the councillors of the respective constituencies. These contractors are still very small and for some it is the first time they were awarded a tender, hence some of them are finding the going tough. But on a more positive note, we know that in future they will not struggle, because they were presented an opportunity to learn,” said Kawana. The aim of government is to grow SME’s so that they can be on par with big companies, said Kawana, adding that the gap between SME’s and well-established companies will continue to grow if the ones on the ground are not assisted.
Kawana said some toilets have already been handed over to households, while others are meant for communities. Speaking to New Era in April, the Kavango Regional Council’s Chief Regional Officer (CRO), Sebastian Kantema, said sanitation is one of the top priorities for the council, because it impacts the health of people and the environment. “Other challenges the regional council would like to address, include the lack of water provision and health facilities for rural communities in the region,” said the CRO at the time. “In some remote villages, people are forced to walk more than 60 kilometres to reach the nearest health facility. The schools are there, but we need more health facilities,” he said. The construction of toilets in the regions have in the past resulted in a public outrage after ridiculous amounts of state funds were used to cover inflated construction costs.
|Type of toilet||Total construction cost|
|Supply of all materials and construction of one (1) Dry Pit Toilet|
|Supply of all materials and construction of one (1) Wet or Flush toilet|
By Mathias Haufiku