Namibia: Uutoni to Lobby for Bigger Local Authority Wallet

MINISTER of urban and rural development Erastus Uutoni has urged all local authorities in the country to intensify capital projects, and promised to lobby for additional funding for them.

Uutoni on Friday said he wants all local authorities to remain focused and work with the ministry towards the much-needed development of local communities.

He said this at the groundbreaking ceremony for the electrification of Onawa Extension 4, 5 and 6 at Oshakati.

"As a line ministry, I will continue to lobby for more funds for local authorities, because it is you who are working closer to the electorate, and therefore are familiar with their needs and aspirations. I would also like to encourage councils to intensify these kinds of projects, because only through this, we as a nation will be able to achieve prosperity for all our people," he said.

Uutoni said the provision of basic infrastructure and services remains one of the government's top priorities at all levels.

"The delivery of serviced land in this town is significantly vital to the decongestion of informal settlements to create a beneficial environment for our residents, and to condense the transmission of communicable diseases - especially during this time of the Covid-19 pandemic," he said.

Oshana governor Elia Irimari said electricity is central to the sustainable development agenda of the country - hence such projects are worth mentioning. "It is a fact that connecting to electricity . . . boosts the collective potential of our people. Therefore I look forward to similar developments in the Oshana region and would like to encourage all our local authorities to explore the possibility of affordable electricity to our people," Irimari said.

The electrification of Onawa cost the council N$11 million, of which N$6 million came from the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development.

The electrification of this area will comprise 931 low to ultra low-income erven of which the average size is 300 square metres. Beneficiaries of the electrification project are the existing traditional homesteads at Onawa, the Shack Dwellers' Federation, and residents of the Sky settlement who will be relocated to Onawa.

These residents will receive the benefit of having access to serviced land with water and electricity.

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