Development in Epukiro affected by budget cuts

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Albertina Nakale

Windhoek-The ruling Swapo Party councillor for Epukiro Constituency, Cornelius Kanguatjivi, has expressed concern that no development budget was availed for the constituency during the current financial year.

He said this situation would inevitably bring to an abrupt halt the road infrastructural development activities in the area that were started last year.

Kanguatjivi made the observation when contributing to the debate on the second reading of the Appropriation Bill in the National Council last week.

He highlighted some of the burning issues in the constituency, including infrastructure such as road networks that have been identified as very important, but have now been affected by budget cuts.

One such infrastructure development of major importance but that has been affected in Omaheke Region is the upgrading to bitumen standard of the 48km road between Du Plessis in Okorukambe and Epukiro Post 3.

According to him, N$10 million was budgeted last year, but regrettably nothing was budgeted this year.

“We should ensure that once we start something we pursue it to its logical finish and not abruptly stop somewhere. Unemployed youth have been waiting for employment at this upgrading of the road,” he noted.

Another concern he raised is the much needed rural electrification as requested.
He said they submitted the names of three villages to be electrified according to their development plans. However, he said, not even one of the three has been provided for because of budget cuts.

“A lot of what we requested during the budgeting process has been cut out. Little has been provided for in the allocations but let’s do little rather than nothing for planned activities. We understand that it may be due to the current financial and economic situation we find ourselves in as a country. Fortunately we are now on our way from the worst situation ever experienced,” he noted.

Furthermore, he said education is a priority above other priorities in the Swapo-led government. But he explained that at Good Hope Primary School there have been no major renovations during the past five years.

He said the sewerage system is non-functional, which poses a health risk.
Equally, he stated that at Epukiro Junior Secondary School there have been no major renovations for the past seven years. Furthermore, he noted there is a need for the Epukiro school to be upgraded from Grade 10 to Grade 12.

“Money that was budgeted during MTEF (Medium Term Expenditure Framework) might have been requested by the central government. We should stick to utilizing money for the purpose it is budgeted for,” he said.

Kanguatjivi said that although Namibia prides itself on having an excellent system of social safety nets, the office of the gender and child welfare division in the constituency where people used to apply for orphan and vulnerable children grants has been closed.

As a result people must now travel over 200km to Gobabis, the Omaheke administrative capital, to lodge applications for the orphan and vulnerable children grants, a journey that he says costs just slightly around N$300 excluding the food to eat to and from Gobabis, and accommodation.

He urged the ministry to look at how to bring these services closer to the people, saying Epukiro should not be excluded.

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