The Association for Local Authorities in Namibia (ALAN) says the price increases for water, food and electricity could raise poverty levels among Namibians and subsequently hamper the plans of local authorities.
Speaking at ALAN’s management committee meeting in Oshakati over the weekend, its acting president Leonard Jona expressed concern about the skyrocketing cost of essentials such as water, energy, food and banks’ lending rates.
“This will affect the consumers of those products negatively, increase poverty among residents and may put pressure on local authorities to redirect their plans,” said Jona.
Also speaking at the event, the Governor of Oshana Region Clemens Kashuupulwa in a speech read on his behalf by his special advisor Michael Mwinga implored ALAN to debate issues of employment creation and reduction of poverty.
Kashuupulwa further implored the association to deliberate issues of revival, “the substance of economic growth and reduction of inequities in income distribution”. According to the governor, years after the government had pledged to bring about better living conditions, Namibians are still faced with difficult living conditions which are compounded by the lack of basic social amenities in communities.
“These are precisely the problems that the government through the local authorities must tackle. Our people need water, electricity, housing, education, health facilities and physical infrastructure that can facilitate government activities,” said Kashuupulwa. Kashuupulwa thus appealed for collective, creative and innovative ways to uplift people’s living standards.
“We must encourage our communities to embark upon income-generating projects as a way of combating poverty among our people,” appealed Kashuupulwa.
The mayor of Oshakati Katrina Shimbulu appealed to fellow councillors to remain united and be servants of the electorate, despite the challenges they face.
“I am sure that most fellow councillors experience challenges in performing their duties as a result of some few colleagues who would want to pursue their interests at the expense of the electorate; my humble request is for us as honourables to remain servants of the electorate,” said Shimbulu.