Ohangwena Regional Council is committed to fighting poverty and creating jobs through the establishment of an agricultural project on the outskirts of Ongha.
Acting chief regional officer (CRO) of Ohangwena Phillip Shilongo says the Ministry of Rural of Urban Development has approved the proposal to convert Ongha into a settlement.
Apart from providing residential and business plots at the settlement, the Ohangwena Regional Council will also focus on enhancing food production and food security.
“We have noticed with great concern that there is limited land in urban areas. Hence, we want to have an agricultural site where people can grow food and in return also create employment for the unemployed,” Shilongo said.
According to him, the initiative to integrate an agricultural setup in an urban area ties in with President Hage Geingob’s clarion call to fight hunger and poverty in the country. In addition, Shilongo said poverty can only be realistically reduced if those in the urban setup join in the fight and create opportunities for residents to produce their own food.
“This cannot just be left for the rural setup. We need concerted efforts in order to win this war [on poverty],” said Shilongo. He added that interested agriculturalists would be required to apply to the council for plots at the project.
Currently, he said, the planners are on site.
In addition to the 500 existing homes at Ongha, the regional council will add an additional 1 000 residential and business erven to accommodate the ever-increasing demand for serviced land. Apart from residential and business plots, the regional council will also avail plots to accommodate offices so as to bring services closer to the residents.
“We want to decentralise services across the region, so we can also ensure that our people have access to basic services at the settlement,” Shilongo explained. The town boundaries will as a result expand by at least five kilometres to the north and south and at least another three kilometres east and west.