Kavango West Regional Governor Sirkka Ausiku says it has been difficult for her to get information from ministries in order to look at their plans and monitor progress on development projects.
She revealed this on Monday in Nkurenkuru during her State of the Region Address for 2015.
“From the onset I have to make it clear that it is difficult to get information from offices, ministries and agencies in the absence of senior government officials in the region. However, through the regional stakeholders’ meetings we tried to get the best available information from some offices, ministries and agencies,” a visibly frustrated Ausiku said.
She noted that central government allocated a budget of N$333,2 million to Kavango West Region during the 2014/15 financial year for its development programmes. However, the operational budget for 2014/15, was not allocated per region.
“It is still centrally based, and hence we don’t know how much was allocated to our region. We are therefore appealing to the central government to allocate the operational budget per region to enable the regional leadership to follow up on how our funds are being utilised,” Ausiku said.
“We are disappointed as a region, because most offices, ministries and agencies could not implement their programmes and projects fully as per budgeted amount,” Ausiku said.
She said most offices, ministries, and agencies complained that the cumbersome tendering procedure was the main cause of the delays since most government offices and agencies are not decentralised, but depend on the Tender Board.
“Interestingly though, even the Kavango Regional Council projects were delayed and only started around February this year. These projects are ongoing, like the construction of Mpungu, Ncamagoro, Tondoro and Mankumpi Constituencies Offices, as well Kavango West Regional Office Park in Nkurenkuru,” she said.
At the end of the last financial year (2014/15) the region was informed it was awarded N$122 million by the National Tender Board, while the Kavango Regional Council was awarded close to N$50 million for capital projects.
The regional leadership was also concerned and worried about a disturbing trend among officials, of diverting funds from projects in Kavango West to other regions.
“This state of affairs makes us believe funds allocated to our region get diverted without the regional leadership’s consent. Those involved in this practice should stop doing this,” she said.
Ausiku further said although Kavango West experienced some delays in the implementation of programmes during the last financial year, there were some ministries who deserve praise for having implemented their projects, such as the Ministry of Safety and Security, which implemented the construction of a new police station at Ncaute, a new substation at Nkurenkuru and the fencing off of a new police training academy at Mpungu Vlei.
On the other hand, the Ministry of Education is busy with major renovations at Kandjimi Murangi Secondary School, as well as the renovation of several primary schools at a cost of N$70 million.
“The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) – although we are not happy with the programme of water provision in the region – are busy with drilling and installation of boreholes in all constituencies,” said the governor.
She said the MAWF also constructed a water pipeline in Ncamagoro, pit latrines in Kapako and Musese constituencies and built veterinary offices at Ncaute and Katwitwi Border Post.
She also noted the Ministry of Land Reform developed some small-scale farming units in the region, while the Nkurenkuru Town Council received N$15 million for construction and N$4 million to compensate villagers, whose land was expropriated to make way for planned projects.
“As a region we are not happy with this allocation, as Nkurenkuru is the regional capital and is experiencing a high demand for serviced land for commercial and residential purposes,” Ausiku said. She also appealed to ministries allocated land in Kavango West to expedite construction.