Mushrooming of bars a concern for Opuwo residents

21 Jan 2016 18:00pm
By Edward Mumbuu
WINDHOEK, 21 JAN (NAMPA) – Some residents of Opuwo in the Kunene Region are unhappy with the mushrooming of bars and lack of public recreational amenities at the town.
In a recent interview with Nampa, the town’s mayor Albert Tjiuma acknowledged that the growing number of bars and shebeens is a great cause for concern to residents of this north-western town.
“We accept the challenge of mushrooming bars in the town. It is not only a problem in Opuwo alone, but is a countrywide concern.
“People should take into consideration that many people make a living out of these businesses, so one cannot just stop them but rather engage the bar owners and encourage them to venture into other businesses by creating more business opportunities in the town,” said Tjiuma.
According to the report on liquor licences issued by the Ministry of Justice in November 2015, about 240 liquor licences were issued in Opuwo.
Liquor licence holders include shebeens, hotels, bars and restaurants.
The town has a population of about 12 000 inhabitants, according to the Namibia Population and Housing Census of 2011.
Opuwo resident Uatuapehi Tjondu told this agency that the absence of recreational facilities such as a park at the town is the reason why people resort to drinking alcohol, which is said to be one of the leading causes of crime and gender-based violence in Namibia.
“When you are free, there is nowhere to go so we are left with no option but to go to the nearest bar for relaxation purposes, which I think is the reason for the high alcohol consumption in Opuwo,” Tjondu lamented.
The mayor urged the town’s residents to bear with the town council as it is busy soliciting funds for the construction of a recreational facility.
“A place has already been identified and once the funds are made available, the construction of a recreational facility shall commence,” said Tjiuma.
The recreational facility will among other things include accommodation in the form of bungalows; swimming pools and a cultural centre, and will also serve as an attraction for investors.
Furthermore, Opuwo Town Council administrative officer Gebhardt Makono highlighted some significant goals they accomplished during the 2014/2015 financial year. These include the construction of a storm water drainage system of 2 976 metres; installation of traffic lights and streetlights; re-graveling of roads and the drafting of the investor policy and strategy of the town.