NKURENKURU – There is still no new development in Kavango West Region and it still has poor road and water infrastructure as well as limited telecommunication networks, said Kavango West Regional Governor Sirkka Ausiku in her State of the Region Address.
“The developmental state of our region remains the same since its creation on the 8th of August 2013, like being highly rural at 99.99 percent and having a high level of poverty, high level of unemployment. According to the Labour Force Survey of 2016 the unemployment rate in the region stood at 36.4 percent and among the youth at 52.6 percent,” Ausiku said on Wednesday in Nkurenkuru.
Ausiku said the veterinary cordon fence is another developmental challenge that needs urgent intervention, besides persistent problems with human-wildlife conflict, communal land administration and illegal fencing of land.
“Traditional authorities [are] allocating commonage areas to private individuals as farms, without consulting the affected communities that use the areas for grazing,” she said.
“Furthermore, most of the inhabitants living along the Kavango River do not have safe drinking water and they depend on the river to draw water. Thus, there’s a need to construct a water pipeline along our national roads in the region,” she said in her fourth annual address on the state of development in the region.
She said the region had last year presented Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila with a document on the developmental needs deemed important. The region asked that the government align its development budget with the needs presented by the region.
“However, it is disappointing to note that most [government ministries] did not consider our priority projects and programmes like the regional government office park, the district hospital, a fully fledged secondary school with a hostel in Nkurenkuru, and one of our strategic (feeder) roads D3446 and many others. All these projects, except the district hospital, are also not in the current Medium Term Expenditure Framework,” Ausiku stressed.
Ausiku in a strong voice told the gathered community and the regional leadership that although the region is faced with these many challenges they are not insurmountable. “As I stated last year I am once again 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.”
She also said there has been some positive developments in the form of government ministries and agencies that have set up offices in Nkurenkuru as requested by the regional council.
“I have to report that 22 government offices and agencies are operating from Nkurenkuru. Importantly most, if not all, are renting office accommodation from some of our local entrepreneurs and this is helping to stimulate our local economy to grow,” Ausiku said.
She said the Nkurenkuru Town Council has allocated plots to all governmenmt ministries although most of them have not yet formalised the process of applying and paying for these plots.
“We are appealing to the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Ministry of Health and Social Services, Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Land Reform to follow suit,” she said.