Clinic at Utuseb to be upgraded

21 Sep 2014 12:00pm
WALVIS BAY, 21 SEP (NAMPA) – The Ministry of Health and Social Services will upgrade the clinic at Utuseb in the Erongo Region to a primary health care centre during this financial year.
Utuseb is home to members of the Topnaar community, a branch of the Nama-speaking people. They live in the western central Namib along the Kuiseb River near Walvis Bay.
Currently, the Topnaar community with a population of about 300 is assisted in a one-room health facility, hence the need for the upgrade.
The Director of Health in the Erongo Region, Jeremia Nghipundjwa told Nampa on Thursday work on the upgrade will start during the current financial year.
“We were reliably informed by our planning directorate at the head office that the room at Utuseb will be upgraded to a modern clinic. Other details about the project will be revealed at a later stage,” Nghipundjwa said.
Last week, the Chief of the Topnaar Traditional Authority, Seth Kooitjie complained that the authority is in the dark regarding the upgrading of the clinic.
Kooitjie alleged that money had been given to Nghipundjwa’s office by the Namibia Ports Authority (Namport) in 2011 as a contribution to the upgrading.
He had apparently been enquiring about how much money was donated and when the money would be used, and only received a letter confirming that there was a donation.
“We are in the dark about this whole project so if you can help us get some answers it will be great, the ministry does not update us. This is a community project and they expect me to give feedback. My concern is that the project is taking so long to start,” said the Chief.
Nghipundjwa however said his office did not receive money, just a letter indicating that Namport would assist with the structural development of the Utuseb clinic.
He responded that the authority should rest assured that the ministry will start upgrading the clinic during this financial year.
“It is taking this long to start because of Government processes. I am sure we are all aware that procedures need to be followed in executing developmental projects in Government,” he said.
On her part, Namport corporate communications officer Jo-Ann Stevens on Friday confirmed that the company had only provided the health directorate with a commitment letter saying it would financially assist with the upgrading.
“We have committed to assist with the structural development of the clinic. However, at the moment we cannot say how much finance Namport will give,” said Stevens.