The Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Loide Kasingo, is concerned about the lack of potable water, electricity and sanitation at some public schools in the two Kavango regions.
Briefing the media yesterday after returning from a two-week familiarisation visit to Kavango East and Kavango West, she revealed: “Most of the schools I visited did not have access to potable water, electricity and sanitation facilities.”
She said the two Kavangos are also faced with a shortage of hostels to accommodate both learners and teachers and this forces learners and teachers to have to walk more than 20km to and from school on a daily basis.
“This situation can expose young girls to rape,” added the deputy speaker.
During the public meetings she held in the regions communities also complained about the increase in rape, and pregnancy among learners specifically from impoverished families.
“Due to the harsh environments these young girls are exposed to I was not surprised to hear that many are impregnated by older and rich men,” she said.
She said communities further complained about poor road infrastructure.
“They reported to me that they are unable to travel from place to place especially during the rainy season when roads become impassable.” Kasingo said the government was also asked to re-look the policy on rural electrification.
Suggestions were that electricity be extended to those living within a 500m radius of schools and clinics, where there is electricity. Residents further want government to look into how river water can be purified because of the high demand at schools and clinics for purified water.
They further want the tender board to be decentralised so that they could benefit from tenders. Despite all these challenges, Kasingo said, residents commended government for initiating an irrigation system at Divindu which provides food to prisoners.
“They reported that most of the elderly and orphans are registered and get their grants from government.” “They said the grants help reduce poverty,” Kasingo said.
Kasingo also visited Oshikoto, Omusati, Erongo and some constituencies in Khomas.
“The visits were an eye-opener to me as a deputy speaker and will help me understand the debates more easily in parliament,” she said.