Omaheke inhabitants plead for help from Kandjoze

16 May 2016 17:20pm
GOBABIS, 16 MAY (NAMPA) – Minister of Mines and Energy Obeth Kandjoze has been inundated with complaints from Omaheke inhabitants who say development has been slow in coming to their region.
The minister is in Omaheke on a familiarisation visit mainly focused on rural electrification, deliberation on the energy and mining sector, the provision of fuel to the regions and the solar revolving fund – a credit facility established by the ministry to stimulate demand for the utilisation of renewable energy technologies in rural areas.
Kandjoze has however encouraged people to air their grievances on other challenges they face and has heard complaints about everything from the long distances pensioners have to walk to collect their pension grants to insufficient drought relief assistance for farmers.
Pensioners, young people and marginalised people in the Epukiro and Aminuis settlements say they feel deprived of development and say if services are offered, they are either unaffordable or not easily accessible.
“I do not even have a single light bulb at my homestead. I only hear about other villagers benefiting from this [rural electrification] and many other developments, but the San community does not get anything,” Frans Chapman, a pastor from Epukiro Post Three said.
Another pensioner from Tugus, a village in Aminuis, Viyanda Kamberipa said they walk up to six kilometres to collect their pension grants.
“If government can please look into the transport issue during the payment of our grants, we will appreciate that, especially for us in remote villages,” said Kamberipa.
There is no post office at Aminuis, and the nearest police station is at Corridor 13 which is roughly 60 kilometres away. Only the ministries of agriculture, basic education and health run small satellite offices at the village.
The villagers also mentioned various concerns such as the non-existence of street lights and delays in the electrification of Build-Together houses at Aminuis, as well as alleged lacklustre service at the Aminuis constituency office.
There are an estimated 60 Build-Together houses at Aminuis, many of which have not been completed.
“It is absolute darkness when we walk along those streets because we do not have any lights. I also would like the minister to go and look at those houses and seek an answer on our behalf,” Kamberipa said.
The Build-Together Programme provides home loans to people with monthly incomes of less than N.dollars 3 000. It also assists middle-income earners who do not have access to credit from financial institutions or who are regarded as a credit risk.
Kandjoze pledged to seek intervention from various ministers on the issues discussed.
“Even though it is not our mandate, we are one government,” he said.
The first phase of Kandjoze’s familiarisation visit to the region started last Thursday and ended on Sunday. He is due back in the region on 26 May for two days when he will visit the Otjinene and Eiseb settlements.