Hundreds of Outjo residents, mainly from the informal settlements, staged a demonstration here on Tuesday demanding that their homes and shacks be electrified.
The unhappy residents came specifically from the Herero location, Build Together, Camp Five and Camp Four in the Etoshapoort township of Outjo.
Group spokesperson Leon /Aib handed a signed petition to the technical area manager of the Central Northern Regional Electricity Distributor (CENORED), Emil Kuhanga, on Tuesday, detailing their grievances and demands.
In the petition, residents complained that they have waited "for too long" for their houses and shacks to be electrified by CENORED.
"We have been waiting for electricity for more than 10 years now. All that we've been getting are just empty promises from CENORED," the petition read.
Residents said the education of their children is being compromised as a result of this lack of electricity in their houses, because their children cannot even study at home after school. Many of them said they have also lost their shacks and other valuable properties due to their reliance on the risky use of paraffin lamps and candles at night.
The group further criticised officials of the electricity distributor in Outjo for being rude to clients and uncooperative when people enquire about the supply of electricity to their houses and shacks. The Outjo Concerned Group has given CENORED only 14 working days to react to their concerns.
They have also threatened to make illegal electricity connections from nearby CENORED transformers to their houses, if the company does not heed their call. "We will connect from any nearby transformers and switches erected by CENORED around our locations," they said.
Outjo Constituency Councillor, Abraham Job, also expressed similar concerns about CENORED.
"I have been at the office of CENORED's chief executive officer (CEO) Mburumba Appolus several times on this issue. He kept promising me that he will consider my people, but up to now he has done nothing," said Job.
Approached for his reaction to the accusations on Tuesday, Appolus told Nampa that the residents of Outjo will have to wait for services like everybody else.
"Outjo residents want to jump the queue. There are other informal settlements waiting to be electrified even here in Otjiwarongo," said Appolus.
He said his office is aware of the serious need to electrify informal settlements in Outjo, and also in other towns, but addeded that the company does not have the resources to implement most of its plans at once. - Nampa