While the lack of housing is a perennial problem across the country, N$4.6 million allocated by government for the construction of Build Together houses in the Omaheke Region during the 2010/ 2011 financial has not yet been utilised.
This was revealed by Omaheke Governor Festus Ueitele during his State of the Region (SORA) address yesterday. He noted that this was due to number of challenges, which he did not elaborate on. Omaheke is one of the regions that has not benefited from a single house built under the Mass Housing Project.
Contacted for further comment yesterday the governor was said to be locked in a meeting, but his special advisor, Pio Nganate, could also not explain why the money has not been utilised. Nganate said he could not explain why the money was not used as intended, as the people responsible were all in meetings. On the region not benefiting from the Mass Housing Project, he said although the region did not benefit directly, the money intended for the Mass Housing Project was used to service urban land.
Ueitele said plans are now underway to complete 49 uncompleted houses, while 80 defective houses will be repaired and 45 new houses constructed at Corridor 13, Aminuis, Otjinene, Epukiro and Talismanus during the 2016/2017 financial year.
Furthermore, the governor announced that the regional council received close to N$47 million for the construction of service infrastructure in the region from the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development. He said N$29 million was received during the 2015/16 financial, while the rest of the funds accumulated from the 2014/15 and 2013/2014 financial years. For 2016/2017 a developmental budget of N$22 million was allocated.
Ueitele noted that Omaheke Regional Council is currently engaging in land servicing, including water and sewer reticulation, electricity supply and construction of roads at Witvlei, Buitepos and Epukiro. He added that the servicing of 295 erven is also planned for Drimiopsis and Tsjaka, two recently proclaimed settlements.
According to him, a number of erven have been surveyed, including 218 at Witvlei and 98 at Epukiro Pos 3. Service infrastructure is also to be provided to 308 erven at Talismanus and 172 erven at Corridor 13. On land servicing and housing at local authority level, he noted that Gobabis Municipality has a total of 361 residential erven, of which Epako Extension 2 has 117, Rakutuka 68 and Omugulugwombashe 176.
Regarding health services, the region has received 10 new vehicles, including ambulances, that have been already been deployed. Two additional consultation rooms and vehicle shades were also constructed at Gobabis Hospital and one staff house was renovated. Ueitele also announced that the Ministry of Health has approved the construction of the Epako Health Centre and to date a total of N$2.3 million has been spent on the project.
Other signs of progress in the region include the construction of the Ministry of Information Communication Technology’s office and the recruitment of community health extension workers during the last financial year.