Namibia: Erongo's Rural Settlements Boosted

16 November 2020

THE Erongo Regional Council last week tabled a total budget of N$111 361 148 for the 2020/21 financial year.

Of this, N$65 991 471 is the operational portion (66%, or N$43 864 885 for the wage bill), and the capital portion for development projects is N$45 919 677 (which includes contributions from local authorities).

The council was able to deliver development projects worth N$5,4 million to various rural settlements in the region through collected rates and taxes.

Although the projects form part of the regional council's mandate to ensure service delivery and infrastructure development in rural communities, many of the projects are paid for by local authority ratepayers.

The developments aim to empower these rural communities' administration and economy.

Local authorities' rates and taxes in the Erongo region contribute 5% towards the regional council for planned and implemented development projects at rural settlements.

For the 2020/21 financial year, about N$12,5 million comes from this contribution to complete existing projects and start new ones.

The Erongo council's chief regional officer, Habatte Doëses, last Wednesday said regional development aims to develop settlements to eventually 'graduate' to local authority level.

Erongo governor Neville Andre said such projects will ultimately result in economic and social recovery in the region.

"Regional development can only be realised if close cooperation with stakeholders in the region is established. What we are witnessing here is exactly what the cooperation between the Erongo Regional Council and local authorities in the region means," he said.

Among the projects delivered was a newly constructed boardroom at the existing office of the Tsoaxudaman Traditional Authority at Otjimbingwe at a cost of N$600 000.

A pensioner payment structure was also built for N$100 000. This will provide shade to pensioners who have to wait to receive their monthly social grants.

"For the past years, the elders had to stand in the sun, which is not good for their health. This also did not portray good governance from all spheres of governance," Andre said.

Other projects delivered included the refenced and upgraded Otjimbingwe dumpsite at a cost of N$1 million.

This site will also be partitioned into different stations for recycling, tires, building rubble, hazardous waste, general refuse and garden refuse.

Furthermore, water infrastructure was installed at Okombahe at a cost of N$2 million. This included water points, a water reticulation pipeline and the installation of stand pipes over a distance of two kilometres.

Another water supply project included the improvement of the sewer reticulation system and the lining of the oxidation pond at Otjimbingwe at a cost of N$1 million.

Two horticultural projects that benefited were the Upukos lucern plantation at Otjimbingwe at a cost of about N$290 000, and the Ellies flowers and vegetable garden at Arandis, at a cost of N$300 000.

Ellies produces fresh flowers, fruit and vegetables for local communities.

The project is owned by six women.

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