The Opuwo Rural Constituency Office currently conducts some of its business from under a tree, while the rest of its operations are conducted from Constituency Councillor Tjeundo Kazeongere’s house.
Following the delimitation exercise of 2013 the former Opuwo Constituency was split into two constituencies, Opuwo Rural and Opuwo Urban. Opuwo Rural Constituency’s operations now take place at Otuani village, about 70 kilometers southwest of Opuwo.
Prior to last year’s regional council elections Kazeongere served as councillor for both constituencies, before he was elected to serve as councillor for Opuwo Rural.
“Part of the development plans we are fighting for is an office. We want to have a structure where we can operate from, because we currently hold our meetings under a tree,” Kazeongere told New Era.
One source of hope is the fact that plans to construct the constituency office have already been approved. “But it will take time as the budget will only be realised in the next financial year, which is after April, so we have requested the Kunene Regional Council to provide a temporary structure,” Kazeongere said.
Kazeongere further said he would conduct visits throughout the new constituency in March.
“This will enable us to really expose ourselves to the people and record their problems so that we can address them,” he said.
In that part of the country there are still many children who do not attend school. Some people in the area still live a nomadic lifestyle.
“We will visit schools to see if learners have received their materials and also to see what the situation is with the learners who stay in the informal hostels. People in that area also have problems with water, so we want to see how best to address their needs,” he said.
Kazeongere lamented the fact that 98 percent of the constituency does not have mobile network coverage; something he hopes will be addressed soon. “Even the Otjiherero radio signal is bad,” he said. The road networks in the constituency are also poor, making it difficult for residents to access basic services such as healthcare at local clinics. “We have very skewed and difficult roads. People have to walk 30 to 40 kilometers to access clinics, so you can imagine how difficult it is for people with chronic diseases to get to health facilities. The people suffer because they don’t always make it to the clinics on time,” he explained.