The absence of tarred roads in remote settlements hinders the prospects of investors and in the process delays development in affected areas, says a local councillor.
One such settlement is Schlip, located in Rehoboth Rural Constituency in Hardap Region. Schlip, which is over 300 square kilometres, has a population of about 1 500 people and is considered an ‘island’ surrounded by private land.
“We in the rural areas of Rehoboth and Mariental rural constituencies are in dire need of good road infrastructure, which will attract more investors to the settlements. No tarred roads exist in our constituencies, only gravel roads. The creation of tarred roads will help win the war on poverty in our constituencies,” said Rehoboth Rural Constituency Councillor Riaan McNab.
Speaking during a recent familiarisation visit by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, McNab described the visit as a sign of prosperity. “We have hope that the social economic conditions of our people will change forever,” he said.
Nandi-Ndaitwah was accompanied by the Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Tjekero Tweya, Minister of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare Bishop Zephani Kameeta, Minister of Mines and Energy, Obeth Kandjoze and Minister of Land Reform Utoni Nujoma.
Nandi-Ndaitwah said although the purpose of the visit was to thank people for the manner in which they conducted themselves during the 2014 Presidential and National Assembly elections, the hard work now starts, adding that the President made it clear that the stance on poverty eradication requires commitment and working together.
“The international community has been using the term ‘poverty reduction’ which in my opinion does not tell me anything. We cannot say poverty must be reduced, no one should remain in poverty, we can eradicate poverty –each and every one of us has a role to play. We will overcome poverty if we all just believe in everything we do towards eradicating poverty,” she said.
She said that the poverty eradication ministry was created to supervise all efforts of government and stakeholders as a whole, adding that poverty cannot be eradicated by one ministry alone. “No one is excluded in the fight of poverty eradication. The message of the President is for each and every one of us to play a role in poverty eradication,” she emphasised.
Addressing the issue of food security, Nandi-Ndaitwah said a decision was taken at the last SADC meeting that at least 25 percent of Africa’s natural resources should not leave the continent unprocessed, adding that the African continent is a net importer of raw material: “Climate change is threatening agricultural production in many countries, Namibia included. Five hundred thousand people in the country will need to be fed because of the current drought,” she said.
- Hilmah Hashange works for the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology in the Hardap Regional Office.