Back in the day, the multifaceted Luna Park, holed up in the busy central part of Omaruru, used to be the pride of the town and the envy of visitors.
Nowadays the park is a worrisome resemblance of an unattended garbage patch and has become an eyesore, with
a significant chunk of the facilities vandalised beyond repair, while the lawn and ablution facilities are in a sorry state.
The park used to house a modern Olympic-size swimming pool, on par with the municipal swimming pool in Namibia’s commercial capital, Windhoek, and many other towns lucky enough to be blessed with the luxury
of having public splash baths at their disposal.
Tennis and netball courts equipped with basketball hoops form part of a range of facilities on a piece of land large
enough to house three football fields, but residents of Omaruru put the blame for the dilapidated state of sporting
facilities squarely on the shoulders of the ostensibly dysfunctional town council. “Council members have been
suspended for almost two years with dire consequences because since their suspension, almost everything came to
a virtual standstill, with basic services virtually non-existent,” charged a resident who requested for anonymity.
“The situation is seriously getting out of hand, these problems are not confined to recreational facilities, the town’s
fragile infrastructure is under threat and unless drastic measures are taken to remedy the situation we are heading
towards a disaster,” observed another resident, while requesting that his identity be withheld for fear of reprisals.
Former Namibian long-distance runner Bertholdt Karumendu is the Regional Sports Officer designated to
oversee the development of sports in that neck of the woods (the vast Erongo Region) that includes Omaruru.
“It’s indeed a very sad story,” he says, “but this problem is not an isolated one.
It’s a phenomenon almost all over the entire country, because to be frank, the local authorities failed dismally to care
of their prized assets. “I have tabled proposals to the municipal council to start putting funds aside for the renovation of the dilapidated facilities at the park,” he said before expressing the hope that this will become a reality once funds are available. “Let us just hope and pray that everything returns to normal once the council sorts out their ongoing internal wrangles, which obviously do not auger well for prosperity and the overall
wellbeing of the town”.