ONGWEDIVA – The Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Peya Mushelenga, says the establishment of an open market at Oshiko informal settlement signifies the government’s commitment to bring services closer to the people and the public’s will to address socio-economic challenges.
He added that trade opportunities presented by the government should also be effectively capitalised to lead communities out of poverty.
The open market, named after liberation icon Wilbard Haindongo, was officially opened on Friday. The market was jointly funded by the Ongwediva Town Council and the Development Agency to the tune of N$766,000.
Construction commenced in 2015, but the market was only completed last year. The construction of the market was initiated by the residents of Efidi Lomulunga for the council to avail them space to trade freely without the fear of being evicted.
Mushelenga said the open market was created to provide a conducive environment particularly for vendors who trade in the streets, where hygiene is compromised.
“I am very particular about the provision of sanitation facilities at all places where you have a convergence of many people. I therefore call upon all local authorities that opened markets without sanitation facilities to erect such facilities near those markets,” Mushelenga said.
He added that the open market will create a platform to promote the consumption of local products. “I therefore invite everybody to support our small and medium businesses that are operating here to boost our local economy,” said Mushelenga.
The market is designed to accommodate more vendors in future, but currently has 20 vending spaces for sellers of kapana, fruits, vegetables, traditional beverages and health products.
Mushelenga urged the community to embrace hygiene to halt the spread of food-borne diseases. He also urged the community to take good care of the facility so that it could be used by generations to come.