Oshikoto Councillors Share Their Challenges

Regional councillors in Oshikoto Region say their constituents have resorted to drinking dirty water because of acute shortages of the vital resource.

New Era spoke to four councillors from the region about their plans, following an induction workshop in Oshakati.

Leevi Shiningombwa, from the newly created Nehale lya Mpingana Constituency, said people are still drinking saline and dirty water.

"Through familiarisation visits throughout the constituency the information I collected is that people do not have access to clean water," said Shiningombwa.

He added that although he did not visit all the centres in the constituency, he discovered that people do not have access to potable water.

Shiningombwa said the constituency only has 13 schools and two clinics - one of which is closed. There are no gravel roads and only a few places are electrified, the councillor said.

He said the other clinic is closed because it does not have electricity and no nurse wants to work there.

Nehale lya Mpingana Constituency is in Oshikoto, named after former Ondonga king Nehale lya Mpingana, a revered Namibian hero.

It was demarcated in August 2013, following a recommendation of the Fourth Delimitation Commission and in preparation for the 2014 general election. The administrative centre of Nehale lya Mpingana is the settlement of Okoloti.

The constituency borders the constituencies of Guinas, Omuthiya-gwiipundi, Eengodi, and Okankolo.

Samuel Panduleni Shivute, Omuthiya regional councillor and chairperson of the Oshikoto Regional Council, said he was busy with his familiarisation visits in the constituency. The problems he encountered so far are the lack of mobile network towers and potable water.

"Apart from challenges we pick up from the meetings, people also send letters to my office stating their problems, but all I can do is forward them to the regional council," said the councillor.

He said that he was busy conducting meetings with vulnerable orphans and other support groups as well. Many orphans in the area are cattle herders and domestic workers, he said.

"Most orphans who don't have caretakers do not go to school at all and I want us to find a solution on how to help them out," said Shivute.

He also commented on the mushrooming of new churches in the constituency, saying the churches are misleading, disturbing and distracting people by spreading lies that they must default on taking their medicine if on treatment.

"Now people are dying easily because they do not take their medicine anymore because they are told by the so-called pastors not to do so," said the visibly irritated councillor.

Supporting Shivute, Hans Nambondi of Okankolo Constituency said the reason people do not have peace at home is because of the new churches.

Nambondi said he was disturbed by the lack of qualified teachers in the constituency, adding that people refuse to work there due to a lack of water and gravel roads.

He further explained that he was still busy with his familiarisation visits and once he was done he would send a report to the regional council.

Councillor Victoria Shikongo of Olukonda said she was also busy with familiarisation meetings in the constituency, but her office was planning to engage both women and men to discuss issues that are contributing to gender-based violence and baby dumping.

Source: All Africa