Eveline de Klerk
Upukos – Residents of Upukos, a small settlement in the Karibib Constituency, will receive electricity for the first time through Erongo Red’s power to the people rural electrification project.
The settlement is home to about 50 households, who mainly depend on farming, and is regarded as one of the oldest settlements in Namibia.
However, the settlement has been evaded by development, hence, electricity was identified as a basic need that could enhance the livelihoods of the settlement’s residents.
Although the total cost of the project is yet to be established, an environmental impact assessment is being carried out by Junior Baiano Industrial Consultants to minimise any negative impact the project might have.
Some of the residents, who spoke to New Era during a public meeting that took place last week Thursday at the settlement, said they welcomed the electrification project, as they have been in the dark for too long.
Martin Gowaseb (85), who has been living at the settlement since the apartheid era, told New Era that he has not seen any changes taking place at the settlement despite Namibia gaining independence 28 years ago.
“To have electricity is such a privilege. I thought I would die before this happens. I am thankful that the government is finally bringing development to our settlement. Our children can make use of it to better their lives,” Gowaseb said.
Another resident, Magareth Guruses (55), who recently retired and returned to the settlement, also said she was disappointed by the slow pace of development at the settlement.
“We are way behind, if I compare our settlement with others such as Okhombahe and Otjimbingwe. However, things are starting to look better. NamWater recently installed water pipelines. This really made a positive impact at our settlement and we are really thankful for that,” she said.