Oshikoto SORA: Millions reserved to fast-track development

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Obrein Simasiku

Omuthiya-Oshikoto Region Council has funded infrastructural projects worth N$25.7 million in Oshivelo and Onayena settlement and Oniipa. The projects aimed mainly at the provision of electricity and construction of sewer, water reticulation and retention ponds, and gravel roads.

An additional N$493,474 was spent through the governor’s office that disbursed funds to 16 entrepreneurs, and N$317,308 from the regional council that was spread across five constituencies through the Rural Employment Scheme, while N$539,423 was allocated for the implementation of the Micro Finance Programme.

This funds were then allocated equally to eight constituencies, with each constituency receiving N$67,427. 88. Oshikoto Governor Henock Kankoshi expressed gratitude over the pace of socio-economic and infrastructural development in the region, as well the provision of potable water to rural areas.

Kankoshi was speaking in his state of the region address (SORA) last week at Omuthiya.
“I can proudly state here with confidence that the region made a significant impact in terms of critical areas of focus. This was more because of your consistent and unwavering support, cooperation, honesty, openness, frankness and indeed, the spirit of Harambee – pulling together in the same direction in order to develop and improve the living standards of our people living in the Namibian House,” Kankoshi stated.

He added: “Oshikoto Regional Council has always been responsive to the needs of our people in terms of job creation and ensuring service delivery in the rural areas of the region. This year is not an exception. It is our strategic intent to develop and harness this human resource capacity, to contribute towards employment creation and SME-driven economic growth, propelled by our people.”

In terms of providing access to clean drinking water Kankoshi said an amount of N$528,846 was allocated to the food and cash for work programme and funds were shared equally among the 11 constituencies, amounting to N$48,076.90 per constituency.

“This allocation was made towards the implementation of projects that address the shortage of potable water in various rural areas. In the quest to address the water crisis in the region, the council completed the installation of seven water pipelines in various constituencies,” Kankoshi noted.

The governor acknowledged the efforts being made by Dundee Precious Metals Tsumeb in maintaining and sticking to its core value of community investment through strengthening the social and economic fabric of Tsumeb, and the region at large.

For the 2016/17 financial year, Dundee spent over N$6.2 million in community-related projects.

Despite significant strides made, Kankoshi noted that the region’s developmental speed was affected by recent budget cuts and delays in the approval of funds.

“The ministerial budgetary suspension for the 2016/2017 financial year affected the implementation of planned regional activities, as well as late transfer of funds by head office and the Ministry of Finance. Therefore, the ministry needs to improve communication channels (proper and timely consultations) on budget suspensions and improve the government’s cash flow position in order for funds to be transferred on request and timeously,” he concluded.

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