'Decentralisation the answer to regional development'

23 May 2016 19:00pm
KEETMANSHOOP, 23 MAY (NAMPA) – //Kharas Governor Lucia Basson has called for the urgent and full implementation of the Decentralisation Policy to advance regional development in the country.
In her official State of the Region Address in Keetmanshoop on Monday, Basson said that until the policy is wholly executed, development in the regions will remain slow.
Basson further urged Government to make haste in enacting the proposed Constituency Development Fund Bill, which is expected to make direct budgetary provisions for constituencies.
“The needs in the country are great but the budget is not always responsive,” Basson said.
In a 25-page marathon speech, she detailed Government development projects completed in the region in 2015/2016 and those planned for the 2016/2017 budget year.
The Governor urged the regional authorities to put monitoring and evaluation mechanisms in place to see to it that quality projects were produced in the required time.
“You can be sure that I will personally supervise all these Government tenders and projects,” she told the regional councillors and public institution heads gathered at the meeting.
Basson said poverty – as elsewhere in the country – was a painful reality in her region.
“The dreams of our young people are not being realised. Our problems are inadequate, economic growth is unstable there are few employment opportunities for our women and youth.”
She took aim at the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service accusing it of failing to budget for the //Kharas Region in the current financial year.
“Does it mean that our youth of this region are not catered for? Most towns, villages and settlements here lack basic facilities for vocational training, sport and recreation,” Basson charged.
She was also angry that the bucket system was still in use in some places, vowing for an end to this by the end of this year.
The governor called on the inclusion of fodder for subsistence farmers, stating that the already arid region was ravaged by the ongoing drought, which further increases poverty levels.
She hopes to rally for added drought aid to cater not only for rural areas, but also for the urban poor.
“We forget that those rural people flock to the urban areas in search of job opportunities.”
Basson called for an end to disputes in the region in the interest of greater cooperation between the respective authorities to sufficiently cater for all inhabitants.