ONGWEDIVA – Kunene is re-looking at the areas where to spend the allocated development budget of N$47 million for the sanitary provision such as water, oxidation ponds and sewerage systems. The reason is to ensure that the setting up of water and sewerage reticulation systems is first extended to the informal settlements in the region, where the need is much greater, and not in the formal areas.
“Our people are suffering and we need to learn to use the little that our government provides to impact the lives of the people,” said the Governor of Kunene Region Marius Sheya.
Although the region has been allocated N$47 million, Sheya said his immediate focus is on ensuring that N$32 million of that is spent in informal settlements in Outjo, Kamanjab, Khorixas, Sesfontein, Fransfontein and Okanguati.
Sheya, in a recent interview with New Era, said the regional council is in the process of implementing the development spending to uplift the lives of people in the informal sector. He was emphatic that “it is time to transform from the luxury mind-set to doing more and achieving more with less resources”.
According to the development budget document, the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development had allocated N$5 million for next year and N$6 million for the year after, for basic sanitation infrastructure in Kunene and N$47 million for services in Opuwo, Outjo, Fransfontein, Kamanjab, Khorixas, Sesfontein, and Okanguati.
Opuwo received one of the highest spending, N$13 million for this year, and it increases to N$15 million next year and to N$25 million the following year. Outjo and Khorixas received the second largest spending at N$8 million, but for Outjo, spending increases to N$15 million the following year and N$20 million the year after.
The budget document indicates that, this money is to be spent on water reticulation, oxidation ponds, construction of sewer networks, and sanitation systems in all the mentioned areas.
According to Sheya, the water and sewerage reticulations in informal settlements would make basic services accessible and pleads for implementation of such project immediately.
He said placing water and sewerage reticulation systems in the informal settlements would cut on the distance travelled by the people to access such services, particularly the vulnerable community such as pensioners.
He said the regional council will not put taps and sewerage reticulation at every house, but would rather be put in the vicinity; to allow people who are able to extend it to their own houses, do so.
About 138 rural toilets were provided across the region during the last financial year, while the region is currently installing 140 water reticulations at Extension 2 in Kamanjab. More than 100 houses were also constructed in order to address the housing shortage in the region.
In addition, 17 classrooms and 12 teachers’ accommodation facilities have also been constructed to address the shortage of teachers’ houses, while a number of renovations were done at the schools.