Concern over budget allocation to //Kharas

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Matheus Hamutenya

Keetmanshoop

//Kharas Regional Council has expressed concern that only about 25 percent of the requested budget for capital projects has been approved for the 2017/18 financial year.

Reviewing the regional council’s budget allocation, during a Regional Development Coordinating Committee (RDCC) meeting yesterday, deputy director of planning and development services Ralph Sachika expressed concern that the budgeted amount is way below the requested funds.

He said only about a quarter of what the council requested has been allocated and this, he said, is disappointing as it means many projects aimed at bringing services closer to people will not be attended to, while those already under construction might be delayed due to lack of funds.

“Out of the N$100 million we applied for, we will only be able to get about N$25 million, which is just a quarter,” Sachika noted.

Most projects that were on the council’s agenda to receive priority attention during the current financial year include the provision of basic services at towns, villages and settlements in the region, but the budgeted amount for each area has been severely reduced, compared to the requested amounts.

Sachika indicated that some of the main projects to be affected by the reduced allocation include the ongoing construction of the
//Kharas regional office park, for which about N$50 million was requested, but only N$15 million was allocated.

He further said while the allocation of funds for construction of service infrastructure at towns like Keetmanshoop and Oranjemund and villages, such as Aroab and Koes, have also been trimmed, some villages and settlements have simply not gotten any piece from the cake. The deputy director noted that this is worrisome.

Aus, Berseba, Tses, Ariamsvlei, Grünau and Noordoewer have all not been allocated a single cent for the construction of services in this financial year, despite a request by the regional council and Sachika singling out Grünau said this is an unfortunate situation as these are projects aimed at providing basic services for the people.

“This is really bad. Under the Harambee Prosperity Plan, Grünau was supposed to benefit to get rid of bucket toilets, so we wanted to service the area and then build the toilets. It is so disappointing that nothing is allocated to service that area,” he said of the non-allocation of funds to Grünau settlement.

However, President Hage Geingob’s target of eradicating the bucket toilet system, as part of his audacious Harambee Prosperity Plan launched last year seems to be on track, as an amount of N$15 million was allocated for the eradication of the bucket system in the //Kharas Region.

The RDCC yesterday also reviewed budget allocations of various line ministries in the region.

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