Ohangwena Regional Council is expected to hand over the administrative and planning functions to its administration staff in October.
Okongo is one of the settlements upgraded last year to be administered by a five-member regional council, but since Okongo was declared a formal settlement in 1997 its affairs were managed by the regional council on an ad-hoc basis.
The council members were elected during the local and regional elections held in November last year.
“We now want to hand over administration and the planning functions of the village council. We have done our part. It is time for the staff in place to develop the town further,” said acting chief regional officer Phillip Shilongo.
Top of their priorities, he said, is to increase the number of boreholes in the near future. Presently, the whole of Okongo depends on water from boreholes, as there are no water pipelines in the area. “The council will need to drill additional boreholes to meet the demand,” he said.
In the meantime, the village council is expected to upgrade its municipal services to cater for the growing demand of the population, estimated to be 20 000 at present. Similarly, there is also a dire need to extend the oxidation pond and the landfill, Shilongo explained.
It is also expected of the village council to extend the road network, as the area is very sandy. In addition to the road network, the council is also expected to construct an open market, as well as create a reception area for people awaiting the construction of houses.
Okongo boasts about 80 houses that were constructed through the Build Together programme, in addition to the previously existing houses that were constructed by the residents themselves.