Ongwediva-A consultative meeting between members of the Omusati Regional Council and the ruling party Swapo’s regional leadership last week pinpointed earth dams and value addition to agricultural produce as top regional development priorities in the upcoming new financial year.
The meeting, held at Swapo’s regional headquarters at Outapi on Tuesday, was the first such consultative meeting where regional councillors of Omusati briefed the top structure of the party on planned activities for the next financial year.
The regional council of Omusati consists of twelve councillors, all of them from Swapo.
Regional council chairperson Modestus Amutse confirmed the meeting in a telephone interview.
“The idea is to keep the party informed of ongoing and planned development activities for the region and to give the party a platform to review our progress in the implementation of the Swapo Party election manifesto,” said Amutse.
“I believe the party will only be able to advise the government if platforms such as this are established for consultation and discussion of issues relating to the social welfare of our people, as well as rededication of our efforts to develop the region,” Amutse added.
The meeting, among others, shed light on the need to harvest rainwater through earth dam excavation in all twelve constituencies of Omusati. Other issues discussed at the meeting included the planned establishment of a tomato processing plant alongside Olushandja dam, increased support to small-scale horticulture farmers in the region as well as to rally behind the planned establishment of an asparagus agro-processing plant at Ruacana.
Asked whether the regional council’s plans were realistic at a time of financial shortages in the country, Amutse said: “We are already busy aligning our limited resources to the needs of our electorate based on priorities, and our plan is to do more within the confinements of such limited resources.”
Last year the Omusati council extended a special invitation to Swapo’s regional executive committee to familiarise itself with sessions of the council and to see whether the debate quality matched the ruling party’s expectations.
Approached for comment, Swapo’s regional coordinator Sacky Kayone said the briefing impressed him and it was good to know about the government’s activities in the region.
“We have touched on every issue in the region, but there is no journey without challenges. It seems that we might experience worse drought this year than previous years because of the worrisome rain,” said Kayone.