10 May 2016 15:40pm
TSUMKWE, 10 MAY (NAMPA) - Residents of Tsumkwe Constituency in the Otjozondjupa Region are demanding radio services from the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) in their area.
The about 100 residents of Gam last Thursday expressed their concerns with the absence of Otjiherero and San language radio services of the NBC in the Gam, Rooidag, Mangetti Dune, Dobe Border Post and Kano Vlei villages.
There are no Otjiherero and San language radio services here at Gam and other areas, a senior traditional councillor under the Kambazembi Royal Traditional Authority, Justice Uapimbi told the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration, Erastus Uutoni.
Uutoni visited Gam, Tsumkwe and Dobe Border Post last Thursday where he held community meetings to discuss issues related to the acquisition of national documents when the absence of radio services surfaced.
The majority of the Tsumkwe Constituencys residents are conversant in Otjiherero and the San languages. There is not one official San language but many dialects that are similar and very different in many aspects.
It was during these meetings where some community members asked Uutoni to inform other members of Cabinet about the difficulties they face in accessing the NBC radio services.
Uapimbi said the radio services in the area are essential for announcements of pensioners pay dates and also on government services designated to the constituency.
The residents also have no access to NBC Television, he said.
Uutoni promised to inform the Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Tjekero Tweya who is responsible for the public radio and television transmission.
On her part, NBC Head of Marketing and Corporate Affairs, Umbi Karuaihe-Upi said in an email sent to Nampa on Monday NBC has a master plan of providing coverage to all areas of Namibia where there is no coverage at present.
Tsumkwe as an important constituency has been prioritised in this rollout plan of the digital television transmission (DTT).
She said the plan is to extend coverage of the transmitter to cover a greater part of the Tsumkwe area by using the existing infrastructure of Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC).
Karuaihe-Upi said NBC has not yet finalised the timeframe as to when their intended expansion of radio and TV services will take place in Tsumkwe Constituency.
She said NBC is facing a challenge of funding, adding they are busy discussing the matter with Government and all other stakeholders.
Tsumkwe Constituency is located in the north east of Namibia with more than 8 000 inhabitants of which most are communal farmers or work in the numerous conservancies.