Omuthiya — The cool breeze off the natural spring water accompanied by the fresh smell with an adorable sunset view are what best describe Othithiya in Omuthiya town.
Omuthiya town is well known for its tasty food sold along the B1 road, but little do people know there is an amazing cooling off place called Othithiya that offers a very pleasant recreational environment.
Othithiya is home to people as well as domestic and wild animals that come there to drink water. It is a natural spring about 10 kilometres from Omuthiya on the gravel road leading to Etosha National Park.
The northern part of Namibia being a hot region during the festive season, people around the vicinity of Omuthiya flock to Othithiya to relax. However, more still needs to be done at Othithiya so that it can look appealing.
According to David Uusiku, a youth activist in Omuthiya, the town council should engage them in developing Othithiya in terms of maintaining the hygiene and cleanness of the area.
Moreover, Othithiya should be considered as a natural beauty and compared to seas and rivers and be treated as such - they do not want it fenced off or people restricted from entering, according to him.
Uusiku suggested that the "town council develop the area by making provision for sports facilities such as for volley and beach volleyball".
"All can be done in the sense that we are not harming nature such as contributing towards the extinction of bird species or posing a threat to wild and domestic animals, as well as blocking the sunset view."
Meanwhile, the town council's local economic development officer, David Israel, said the council started planning the Okashana wetland which surrounds Othithiya.
"The planning is however still at an infancy stage that involves creating residential plots as well as business plots for properties such as a hotel, water park, a 9-hole golf course/golf estate, recreational braai area, camp and heritage site, lodge establishments and urban agricultural land," explained Israel.
According to Israel, part of the Othithiya area falls under the King Nehale Conservancy's land, hence the council, the conservancy and other key stakeholders are engaging in discussions to see how the area can be developed for the mutual benefit of all parties
Israel said the envisaged developments are expected to boost tourism in Omuthiya, adding that the council's town planner, Stubenrauch Planning Consultants, has already developed a draft layout plan.
- Josephina Mwashindange is an information officer in the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology in Oshikoto Region