I am here again to account to you on progress made through our rededication efforts and indeed in the spirit of Harambee.
The developmental state of our region still remains the same like last year. And I am appealing to the inhabitants of Kavango West Region to remain patient and persistent to enable us to achieve our desired goal of developing this region towards prosperity.
Our office continues to experience difficulties in obtaining information from government offices, ministries and agencies on how the allocated development and operational budget is being implemented in the region addressing developmental activities related to economic advancement, infrastructure development, human capital development and the social progression of our people.
However, through the regional stakeholder meetings we always try to get the best available information from some OMAs (offices, ministries and agencies). We have to remember that effective governance cannot take place in the absence of appropriate and adequate information and OMAs are duty-bound to provide information to all 14 regions.
During the 2016/17 financial year, the central government allocated a budget of N$346 million to the region for development programmes with 60 projects.
However, the issue of our operational budget for 2016/17 still remains a mystery as for the past two years I have been appealing to OMAs to inform all 14 regions about the operational budget allocation to enable the regional leadership to follow up on how our funds for other programmes mentioned above apart from capital projects are being utilised. It is sad to note that our appeal has fallen on deaf ears.
The region is fully aware of the financial situation our country is going through including the prolonged drought for the past two to three years and appreciate measures being undertaken to address these financial difficulties.
However, as a new region (the last born), we are not happy that the Mid-Term Budget Review did not spare us – in spite of statistics showing that the region is the poorest in the country, we were treated like any other region that has been in existence already.
Furthermore, most of our developmental projects were new and could not get started on time. All these affected the implementation of programmes, activities and projects by all OMAs in the region. I think it is high time our central government takes the available national and official statistics seriously and apply equity when allocating and reviewing budgets to regions.
During the period under review 12 projects were supposed to kick off but were put on hold during the Mid-Term Budget Review. They are Kavango West Regional Government Office Park, Regional Offices for Home Affairs and Immigration, Justice, Agriculture Water and Forestry, Safety and Security, Health and Social Services including the District Hospital, Information and Communication, Environment and Tourism, Industrialization, Trade and SME Development, Works and Transport, Sport, Youth and National Service and Electoral Commission of Namibia. You can agree with me that if all these projects or even two to three of them were implemented the status of our region could have changed for the better.
During the period under review, the regional council had projects of Kavango West Regional Government Office Park which would have commenced during the period under review however the project was suspended due to the Mid-Term Budget Review and we are disappointed that this project was not prioritized as a basic need for the region.
It actually makes a mockery of our request for government ministries and offices to construct offices in the region if we have not done that ourselves as the Office of the Regional Governor and that of Kavango West Regional Council. The construction of Mankumpi constituency offices could not be completed, while the three constituency offices of Tondoro, Mpungu and Ncamagoro were completed as reported last year.
The construction of Rupara Rural Development Centre and land servicing at Katwitwi are ongoing and the construction of 122 toilet facilities have been completed.
A total number of 33 income-generating projects were funded through Micro Finance, Rural Employment Scheme in all eight constituencies.
During the period under review Nkurenkuru Town Council had one project, which is the construction of municipal services in Nkurenkuru Ext 3 and Kahenge proper both for phase two. Nkurenkuru Town Council also under the mass housing programme recommended beneficiaries for the 69 houses from which 49 houses are for social housing (low income) and 20 credit-linked houses to the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development and still waiting the final approval. Nkurenkuru Town has 19 extensions with 5,437 erven, and out of these only 522 erven are fully serviced, 406 partially serviced and 4,509 are not serviced at all.
In the Dry Land Crop Production Programme, 31 percent of farmers benefited from the distribution of seeds, 5.4 percent benefited from ploughing, 0.9 percent from planting and ripped services with government tractors, 1.4 percent benefited from private tractors while 2.6 percent benefited from fertiliser services.
On the Youth Employment Scheme 33 groups registered for weeding services. The region is the winner for 2016/17 Mahangu Champion competition in the name of Andreas Kamukwanyama of Satotwa village, Mankumpi Constituency. And because of this achievement the region will host the National Mahangu Festival and Mahangu Champion Award Ceremony 2017 on July 13, 2017 in Nkurenkuru.
The region is also going to launch Operation Katemo to improve this programme to address food security at household, regional and national levels
In small stock distribution and development in communal areas, there are 21 goats from the ministry in the region and after two years the beneficiaries are supposed to give back 10 to other families.
The construction of offices, accommodation and clinics for the Directorate of Veterinary Services at Ncaute and Katwitwi for veterinary services are all completed, while the construction of offices and accommodation at Katwitwi border post is at an advanced stage.
During the period under review, the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture had five projects like the construction of classrooms and renovation of schools. The construction of 11 classrooms, five ablution facilities, 12 pre-vocational classrooms, one teacher’s house were done while 19 classrooms, four hostel block ablution facilities and two offices were renovated.
The numbers of secondary schools, combined schools and primary schools, as well as the number of staff establishments of teachers remain the same as reported last year and a total number of 460 teachers were recruited during the period under review.
We are happy with the Grade 12 results, we moved from the 10th position the previous year to ninth position, however we need to improve our Grade 10 results as we dropped from the sixth position of the previous year to 7th position.
* This is an edited excerpt from the State of the Region Address by Sirkka Ausiku, the Governor of Kavango West Region, made on June 27.