Namibia: Stalled Rural Electrification Project Gets Green Light

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19 April 2021

Ncumushi — The Ncumushi village electrification project that was stalled due to a dispute between a contractor and crop field owner has been given the green light to go ahead.

The field owner and the community gave the go-ahead on Wednesday after the intervention of the Shambyu Traditional Authority and Kavango East governor Bonifatius Wakudumo.

Vitumbo Tjimbamba refused that the contractor erects four electrical poles in his field, while some villagers thought that the power line should run parallel to the nearby gravel road, which is about 15km long.

However, going through some crop fields will cut the distance of the powerline by about five kilometres.

The electrical line will be developed on a 10km stretch from Baramasoni to Ncumushi village and will electrify a school and a borehole in the Mashare constituency.

During the community meeting, some villagers claimed they were not informed of the project, but the contracting company, Together Electrical Services said it informed the headwoman's right-hand man Mathews Munuma, as headwoman Veronica Nekendu was receiving medical attention out of town at the time.

The governor urged villagers not to stand in the way of development, as it is a government project intended to develop their area.

"Development comes to people and if the project has negatively affected you to an extent of you giving up your piece of land, government has a way of compensating you so you can move appropriately. In this case, four poles won't hinder you from cultivating your crop field," Wakudumo noted.

The governor expressed happiness that the parties managed to iron out the problem but informed them that more than two months have now been lost on the project.

"The contractor was supposed to start on 1 February and then the conflict started. He stopped and went to do other projects and now he can only come back to the site after two weeks," noted Wakudumo.

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