A community yearning for a better life

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Obrein Simasiku

Omunyekadhi-Immediately after leaving the area of Casablanca, some 15 kilometres from Oshivelo, one literally gets cut off from the entire world – and the cellular network connection is weak and eventually non-existent as soon as you branch off some 22 kilometres away at Hedimbi, a gravel road that connects Kavango West and Oshikoto regions with the B1 road.

That is when you start appreciating the bright lights of towns and cities, as you will be welcomed by inaccessible sand paths which literally make it impossible for two-wheel drive cars to pass through. The path also connects Oshikoto to Ohangwena through Okongo and stretches for over 100 kilometres. When driving into this wilderness you barely see people.

New Era visited Omunyekadhi village in King Nehale lya Mpingana Constituency which is situated 56 kilometres between Hedimbi and Okongo in the Ohangwena Region, where Omuthiya councillor and chairperson of regional councillors Samuel Shivute, and Leevi Reinholdt, councillor of King Nehale lya Mpingana, donated some clothing to the San community. It was when the community informed the councillors that they live in abject poverty and have limited means to make ends meet.

“With no schools, roads, water, electricity and clinics you expect one to live a happy, healthy life?” complained Pavo Lukas, one of the villagers who appealed to the councillors to bring basic services to the area.

“We are suffering here – there is no hope to life with little to do for a living. Instead we just gather around cuca shops and wait for local farmers to hire us when they have work to be done,” he added.

Shivute informed them that the purpose of the visit was also to evaluate their living conditions and hear of their plight so that they can be worked on, or so that the relevant authorities be notified about their problems.

Reinholdt highlighted that 2017 is a year of action, which means improvement for an area having impoverished people and where communities do not have access to clean drinking water and lack road infrastructure.

“This road from Hedimbi up to Okongo is on our priority list for the region – we are only waiting for the budget on the way forward as to when the project will begin. Road infrastructure has been a big challenge,” said Reinholdt.

“We also have other projects lined up such as a water pipeline from Oshamakaka to Omupupa, passing through Omayoka Oshango and Elao, for these areas to have tap water. In addition we will soon start a chicken and piggery project at Ekonkola village.

We are still busy with quotations – but the area is being cleared at the moment,” added Reinholdt.

He said a private school is also being planned at Omatale to accommodate children that walk long distances to school.

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