Okongo-The Okongo Village Council has approved the allocation of 700 plots of which 100 are earmarked for businesses at the town.
So far it has allocated 267 informal plots of the 600 plots at Extension 3 and is currently waiting for a response from the Namibia Advisory Planning Board to formalise the three new extensions.
In addressing the housing shortage the council has since 2010 compensated 17 homesteads with N$4 million to pave the way for the planned developments.
A further 35 homesteads are waiting to be compensated of which 10 homesteads are in the planned city centre area.
The council will need N$14 million to relocate these homesteads, but the residents have already showed eagerness to vacate.
“Everybody in Okongo is excited about the new developments they see in their home town – the families being relocated are just equally excited because they understand why they have to relocate and they too want to see their town move in a positive direction,” said the chief executive officer of Okongo, Wodibo Haulofu.
Haulofu said the council’s first task is to develop a strategic plan in line with the goals and vision of the national development plan (NDP).
He stressed the village council will continue to rely on the Ohangwena Regional Council until it can stand on its own financially.
“The council is currently busy drafting its strategic plan which will be in line with the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP) and Vision 2030. We cannot just work ad hoc but need guidance to achieve what the council wants to achieve in both its short term and long term,” said Haulofu.
The council currently generates an income of about N$75 000 per month from general municipal services from the 86 Build Together houses handed over by the regional council as well as local businesses and government agencies in Okongo.
But with Okongo’s population rapidly increasing in the past few years, water supply remains a major concern as there in no bulk water supply line connected to NamWater and the town still continues to use underground water.
• Michael Samuel is an information officer at the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology at its Ohangwena regonal office.