//Karas to give preference to locals for toilet project

by Matheus Hamutenya

Keetmanshoop

Preference will be given to local companies to construct rural toilets in the //Karas Region.
As stipulated in the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP), government aims to build 50 000 rural toilets during the Harambee period, and in the //Karas Region, companies within the region will be given preference to benefit from this project.

The //Karas Chief Regional Officer Saul Kahuika revealed there are plans to ensure residents of the region benefit fully from the project and local companies from the region will get the nod first.



He said it will not be business as usual, as the project will not go through the tendering process, as taking that route will mean more time is lost, while more money is required, and thus the regional council will simply ask for quotations and suitable companies will be selected.

“I’m not pre-empting the decision of the tender board but this is what I have in mind,” he said.
Kahuika explained these are efforts aimed at empowering local companies, both in terms of skills and financial empowerment.

When he was asked on the progress of the project and when the actual construction will commence, he indicated that assessments are currently under way, and once areas which are very much in need of toilets are identified, then construction can begin.

The assessment is taking longer than expected due to the vastness of the region, coupled with lack of manpower and transport, but he stated that he expects the report to be on his table this week.

“It’s a big and scattered region and we are short of human resources and vehicles,” he said.
Kahuika stated that once finalized, the report will be submitted to the line ministry for decision on funding, adding that he is positive that the project will commence as soon as possible.

“The construction will start this financial year definitely,” said an upbeat Kahuika. Under HPP the construction of rural toilets will be done primarily by unemployed youth in an effort aimed at complementing government’s drive to end hunger and poverty in urban and rural areas.

The construction of rural toilets is focused at creating economic opportunities for unemployed rural youth and which in the end will likely address rural hunger and sanitation.

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