Namibia: Ohangwena Crime Spikes

The Ohangwena region has recorded a staggering rise in crime during the 2019/2020 period.

This is despite efforts by safety and security officers to curb crime in the region.

A total of 4 038 cases were reported during this period.

The region recorded with a high number of cases of assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm, robbery, rape, motor vehicle theft, house breaking and theft.

About 161 rape cases were recorded in this period - an increase of 20% from 134 cases recorded in the previous financial year.

Walde Ndevashiya, governor of the Ohangwena region, revealed these figures during state of the region address (Sora) held at Eembaxu on Tuesday.

"These figures are worrying. We need to work with law-enforcement agencies to ensure we curb crime in our region. Let's help the police where we can and refrain from criminal activities. Together we can," he said.

Over 1 321 assault cases were recorded, showing an increase of 7% from 1 238 cases recorded in the previous year.

Domestic violence cases stand at 65 - a decrease of 4% from 68 cases reported in the previous period.

A total of 24 murders were reported - a decrease of 35%.

The region has been challenged by high unemployment, especially among the youth, the effects of Covid-19, which has negatively impacted the region's economy and service delivery, limited resources and a reduction in the regional budget allocation.

"There has been poor coordination in the implementation of government projects and programmes between sector ministries and the regional council, such as incomplete and prolonged capital projects like the Eenhana Sport Stadium as well as teachers' accommodation across the region.

"The slow pace on the full exploration of the Ohangwena aquifer and a lack of access to funding for SMEs are also some if the challenges we are faced with," said Ndevashiya.

"It is worrying to report that the region is still experiencing a shortage of infrastructure, such as ablution facilities, hostel accommodation, permanent classrooms, school laboratories and libraries, as well as a lack of isolation facilities at the Eenhana District Hospital.

"More disturbing is the delay in the completion of some capital projects in the region, the construction of the education directorate's regional office and the regional office for the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, and the Eenhana Sports Complex, to mention a few," he said.

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