12 Aug 2014 11:20am
OKAKARARA, 12 AUG (NAMPA) The Okakarara State veterinary office complex was officially inaugurated by Agriculture, Water and Forestry Minister John Mutorwa on Monday.
Its construction here in the Otjozondjupa Region was funded by the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA)-Namibia at a cost of over N.dollars 20 million.
The veterinary complex comprises a laboratory, an animal sterilisation theatre, an animal treatment room, post-mortem room, animal holding pens, a pharmacy, medical stores, five offices, two boardrooms and consulting rooms, amongst others.
Three staff houses were also constructed for the veterinarians and other workers employed at the complex.
Livestock farmers from the Okakarara area who attended the inauguration indicated that they were happy to witness the facility opening for business.
The Kambazembi Royal Houses senior traditional councillor Festus Ueriuka Tjikuua, who also farms in the area, thanked MCA-Namibia and Government for opening the facility.
He said the primary focus of the veterinary complex will be to assist communal farmers in treating their livestock, and protecting the animals against disease.
Tjikuua said the meat and milk from cattle, goats and sheep are the main sources of food for hundreds of people in the Okakarara constituency.
We eat and drink meat and milk from our cattle at funerals, and therefore they need to be healthy from diseases, he stressed.
The chairperson of the Otjozondjupa Communal Farmers Union, Ramana Mutjavikua, said he wants to see this complex become a fully-operational animal laboratory centre.
It should thus become the main animal disease sampling and testing centre in the region.
Mutjavikua also urged local livestock farmers to make use of the facility so that the relevant authorities could see the need for its future expansion.
In his official remarks, Mutorwa said figures from his ministrys Directorate of Veterinary Services show that the Okakarara constituency has about 87 971 cattle in total.
There are also 30 156 sheep, 40 717 goats, 2 264 horses and 6 274 donkeys which continue to play a major role in sustaining the livelihood of our people in this area, he noted.
Mutorwa thus urged communal farmers in Okakarara whose livelihood depends on livestock to always take their animals to the centre.
The complex is expected to employ two permanent veterinarians, animal health technicians, administrative officers and general supporting staff members.
Otjozondjupa Regional Governor Samuel Nuuyoma; MCA-Namibias Deputy Chief Executive Officer for Implementation Dr Eline van der Linden; and the Charge daffaires at the American embassy, John Kowalski, were amongst those who attended the inauguration.