KATIMA MULILO, 07 OCT (NAMPA) -
The first State-of-the-Region address in Zambezi has called for key development areas to change and transform the region. Zambezi regional governor, Lawrence Sampofu on Wednesday called for regional council and local authority councillors, directorates and managements to prioritise education, health, rural water supply and electrification, social welfare, tourism, fisheries, and improved roads infrastructures.
Sampofu indicated that although some sectors have made notable achievements in building, upgrading and maintaining their target areas, much more still need to be done in harnessing all development goals of the region. He pointed out the need to provide potable water and electricity to communities living in rural areas, including Government schools and institutions.
"Currently, the government is busy energising schools, clinics and agriculture extension stations. We need more funds so that we energise all schools. There is still a backlog in Kabbe North and Kabbe South, which are both in flood-prone areas, and the Linyanti and Judea Lyaboloma constituencies," said the regional head.
He said there are many villages where rural electrification is needed, adding that the advantage is that many people live in big villages that make it easier to provide electricity to all from one transformer in a village. "We would love to energise all schools by 2020 though the pace in electrification process is very slow," he said.
Sampofu revealed that in the 2016/17 financial year, there are plans to construct a water pipeline connecting the Kongola, Choi-Lizauli-Sangwali-Batubaja-Kapani areas. Currently, there is a water pipeline under construction from Katima Mulilo to Ngoma, which will supply the Bukalo-Kabbe-Lusese-Ikumwe; Bukalo-Muyako-Ibbu-Ngoma areas, while the Kongola-Sachona-Masida-Makanga will connect to the just-completed Katima-Sibbinda pipeline.
"It is envisaged that by 2019 the residents of Zambezi will have potable water. Those living along the rivers and flood-prone areas will continue receiving boreholes and purification tablets to protect them from diseases such as bilharzia and diarrhea," he said.
He emphasised the vital importance of roads infrastructure in the transportation of people and goods to and from towns and rural areas, adding that these roads link to neighbouring countries for export and import purposes.
Sampofu indicated that the Bukalo-Muyako-Ngoma road needs to be tarred as it links to Lake Liambezi, which is thriving with tourists and fishing activities, adding that a new road has also been gazetted for development between Masokotwane-Sikanjabuka-Sizimbukwa.
On education sector plans, the governor urged the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture to look into providing more funds for hostels and schools, where tents are used as classrooms.
"Education is the key to development. We still have schools in tents, and in some areas pupils still walk long distances to attend school. Building of hostels will alleviate these problems at both senior secondary and combined schools and in western Zambezi to accommodate the San Community," Sampofu said.
On the health sector agenda, he said the Katima Mulilo Hospital needs to be upgraded to intermediary level because it serves a population of 90 100. Patient referrals from this hospital are transferred to Rundu or Windhoek.
"This is costly in terms of life, funds and distance; many people die on the roads before they reach Rundu or Windhoek. We also need sanitation services to be provided and sanitation programmes to be extended to the villages in rural areas," requested the governor.