Trekking 20 km to access health services

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Memory Mutenda
Nkurenkuru

Kavango West Governor Sirkka Ausiku has informed the Speaker of the National Assembly Professor Peter Katjavivi that the shortage of roads and health facilities in Kavango West compels some villagers to walk up to 20 kilometres to access health services.

“The region lack infrastructure development as far as water supply, roads and health facilities.  People in the inland villages still have to walk 10 to 20 kilometers to access health centre,” Ausiku stated when Katjavivi recently visited the region on an outreach programme.

Villagers worst affected by the lack of several infrastructure are those who live inland, Ausiku informed Katjavivi when he met with the regional leadership as part of taking Parliament to the people and engage members of the community in its outreach programme.

“In order for us to assist in the developments we need to come together so that we learn from you, members of the community, and to see where we can assist the region as members of your parliament,” Katjavivi assured the community.

Katjavivi visited Rupara Rural Development Centre and Sikondo Green Scheme. He also toured the Nkurenkuru Health Centre that was constructed in 2015 but is not yet completed due to budgetary constraints, and is now giving the regional leadership a headache.

Katjavivi also stressed the need for non-governmental organisations and volunteers to work together and to assist the elderly people in the region who are unable to care for themselves.
Highlighting challenges facing the region, Joseph Sikongo, the Chairperson of Kavango West Regional Council said lack of funding has delayed service delivery especially roads infrastructure and water supply to villages who at the moment get water from boreholes.

“We are urgently in need of water pipes that can run through to communities to allow them to tap water from these pipes,” underlined Sikongo.

“Funds availed to the region for the construction of roads, for example, are redirected by ministry without notifying the regional leadership,” said Sikongo.

The region is highly rural and subsistence farming remains its mainstay but due to the lack of local markets, and main roads within the inland, villagers cannot access the markets.

“Kavango West is the youngest region in the country and therefore we should do everything in our power to make sure we intensify support to the region to catch up in all aspects of development,” assured Katjavivi.

*Memory Mutenda is an information officer at the regional office at Nkurenkuru at the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT).

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