Nkurenkuru in Kavango West is in dire need of serviced land for commercial, institutional and residential purposes and is saddled with an acute shortage of critical municipal services, such as roads, sewers, electricity supply and drainage systems.
This was amplified on Thursday at a consultative meeting held by the Vice President Dr Nickey Iyambo and senior aides from his office attended by Kavango West Governor Sirkka Ausiku at Nkurenkuru, councillors and the town CEO, among others.
Ausiku bemoaned the lack of administrative space for members of the Namibian police, who are conseuqnetly compelled to lease sub-standard houses. On his part Iyambo assured the governor that government will prioritise and avail houses to police force members at Nkurenkuru when the resources are available.
He said the problem is not peculiar to Nkurenkuru and recalled that on a trip he undertook to one of the rural police stations when he served as the minister of safety and security he visited a police contingent housed in worn-out tents.
On the sidelines of the meeting the CEO of Nkurenkuru, Sindimba Petrus Sikongo, said: “Currently Nkurenkuru town is in dire need of serviced land, including roads, sewers, water, electricity and drainage systems.
He believes availing serviced land at the town will enable the settlement that was proclaimed a town on September 15, 2006, “To deliver land for business, institutions and residential purposes. Currently most public and private institutions cannot establish their offices or build shops.”
“Those that have established offices and shops in Nkurenkuru are finding it hard to accommodate their staff members. Therefore, Nkurenkuru needs serviced land to build houses, office buildings and accommodation facilities, such as hotels, lodges and guesthouses,” Sikongo explained.
He said: “Housing is a major concern, not just for the police, but the entire population in Nkurenkuru and the Kavango West Region in general. We have a master list of more than 589 registered under the mass housing development programme and this list was submitted to the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development and NHE last year August. However, the number has doubled due to the relocation of various ministries and agencies to Nkurenkuru.”
Although Sikongo attributed the shortage of housing and serviced land to budgetary constraints he was quick to point out he has not been sitting on his laurels.
“We are trying our level best to source some fund from central government through our line ministry, as well as proposing some public private partnerships with the private sector to service more land. We have proposed about three PPPs and our proposals are with the attorney general`s office for scrutiny and advice before we enterinto the partnership.
“We are only awaiting a report from the attorney general’s office regarding these proposals. Once approval is granted then within a short period of time, we will be working on the modalities to sign the PPP, as well as the implementation thereof… The cost implications will be determine by the feasibility study to be finalised once the go-ahead is given.”
Although Nkurenkuru is literally one of the new kids on the block the town is fast becoming a force to be reckoned with, as it has become the residential, business and administrative centre of Kavango West, with a daily steady influx of people into the town seeking job opportunities and educational opportunities at institutions, such as the International University of Management that has established a presence here.
Nkurenkuru has an area of about 49,102 hectares and is estimated to have a population of around 15,000 inhabitants, excluding nearby villages and Katwitwi bordering Angola and cross-border residents from Port Cuangar in Angola.
While at Nkurenkuru on Thursday Iyambo visited the health centre and the site of the district hospital. He also had an audience with the hompa of the Uukwangali Traditional Authority, Eugene Siwombe and visited the Musese Irrigation Scheme.