Windhoek-Omaheke Governor Festus Ueitele has expressed concern over the sharp rise in the number of street kids begging on the streets in towns across the region, saying there is an urgent need to address the problem.
“The region is confronted with a high number of children living on the streets of Gobabis and Windhoek. This is a ticking time bomb,” a visibly concerned Ueitele recently said.
In his state of the region address, Ueitele noted that the sharp rise in the number of children on the streets of Gobabis necessitated his office to convene a stakeholders meeting to deal with the issue.
“This issue still remains unsolved and requires an in-depth study to determine the root cause of this problem,” he said.
Further, Ueitele said due to the recent budget cuts, the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare could not initiate any capital projects during the previous financial year.
“The construction of a place of safety to host gender-based violence victims and children in need of care could therefore not be realised,” he said.
Ueitele also expressed concern over the vandalism of veterinary fences, especially in communal areas and urged local communities to develop a sense of ownership of the fences and to do what it takes to ensure the integrity of the fence is maintained and that disease control measures are effective.
“Removal of the cordon fences is impractical, but the best position the farming community can take right now is by adhering to the recommendation aimed at effective disease control, so the current markets accessed by Namibian beef are maintained.”
In addition, he said the Namibian Defence Force experienced problems during their border patrol operations, as some local farmers whose fences are connected to the veterinary fences, close their gates and thus hinder routine patrol operations. “I once again urge these farmers and communities to cooperate with all our laws enforcement agents,” he said.
Ueitele said the complete and speedy implementation of the decentralisation policy and process would undoubtedly ease some of the existing challenges.
In this regard, he called for continued support and intervention from the private sector to assist government in the ongoing fight against poverty and unemployment.