New Era’s regional reporter for the eastern regions, John Muyamba, sat down with the Governor of Kavango West Region, Sirkka Ausiku, who chronicled the year that was in the country’s newest region.
NE: What notable projects were accomplished this year in your region?
SA: “The construction of three constituency offices – Mpungu, Ncamagoro and Tondoro – was a success. Municipal services [facilities] at Nkurenkuru Ext. 3 (roads, water and sewerage) were others. The construction of accommodation at Ncaute by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry under the Directorate of Veterinary Services was completed, and so is the construction of a house at Mpungu fish farm by the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources. The International University of Management constructed a new campus at Nkurenkuru, while three shopping complexes – all of them private initiatives – were also constructed.”
NE: What projects do you want to accomplish next year in this region?
SA: “Topping the priority list are the construction of Kavango West government office park, construction of the Nkurenkuru Health Centre, Gcaruhwa and Dwatjinga PHC clinics as well as Nkurenkuru District Hospital. The renovation of Rupara Health Centre, hostels at Nkurenkuru Secondary School and Bravo Secondary School are also in the pipeline.
“Construction of water pipelines in all constituencies, electrification for Mankumpi constituency office and the drilling of a borehole at KatjinaKatji with support from NamWater are all in the pipeline. We want all projects that were put on hold during the mid-term budget review to continue next year.”
NE: How badly were infrastructural development projects affected by the mid-term budget review?
SA: “The mid-term budget review has affected the programmes, activities and projects in Kavango West Region as most projects earmarked for the region have been suspended. However, as highlighted earlier, the completion of three constituency offices is one example.”
NE: The people of Mpungu and many places in your region are in dire need of potable, safe drinking water. What plans are in place to assist in this regard?
SA: “The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry has existing programmes in place for installing and drilling boreholes in the region. As a complement to that, the governor’s office started a project to construct water pipelines in different villages in the region with the support from Namsov Community Trust and Sea Flower Fishing Company, and with technical assistance from the ministry of agriculture’s department of rural water supply staff members. The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry assisted the governor’s office by identifying materials needed, like tanks and pipes as well as identifying areas with the need for potable water.”
NE: You are pretty new in this job as governor of a new and underdeveloped region. How has the experience been?
SA: “Well it has not been easy – I faced a lot of challenges but we are determined to serve the community of the region and develop this new region. I would like to thank our government for splitting the two regions as this is making development in the region easy.”
NE: What schools are needed the most in your region and therefore require priority attention?
SA: “Our number one priority is the need for a new secondary school with a hostel in Nkurenkuru where there is no secondary school at the moment and we also need a secondary school at Bravo village with a hostel as well. All schools without permanent structures should be prioritised.”
NE: To date the clinic and hospital in Nkurenkuru have not been realised yet. What’s the hold-up?
SA: “I am disappointed with the delay in the construction of the Nkurenkuru Health Centre and district hospital as the community of Kavango West Region is currently being denied of such services.”
NE: What message do you have for the people of Kavango West?
SA: “I would like to thank the community of Kavango West Region for the support they have given me ever since my appointment as a regional governor. As it has started raining in some areas in the region my office is urging the community to start ploughing on time. I wish the community of Kavango West Region a merry Christmas and a very happy, prosperous New Year.”