//Kharas Regional Council budget slashed by 75 per cent

05 Apr 2017 19:50pm
KEETMANSHOOP, 05 APR (NAMPA) – The //Kharas Regional Council will only receive N.dollars 25 million out of the N.dollars 100 million it requested from the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development for development projects in the region.
This brings to a halt a number of projects lined up in the various constituencies for the 2017/18 financial year.
The bulk of the projects relate to the provision of basic sanitation services, which include the elimination of the bucket system.
The picture is bleak, Deputy Director of Planning and Development Services Ralph Sachika said in a briefing at the regional development coordinating committee meeting in Keetmanshoop on Wednesday.
Budgets for projects underway were also cut, Sachika said.
The council requested N.dollars 50 million for the continuation of construction of the //Kharas Regional Office Park for this year, but received an allocation of only N.dollars 15 million.
“This does not augur well for us as the shortfall may lead to the project being delayed,” Sachika said.
The N.dollars 187 million four-storey complex is supposed to be completed in September next year.
Several million dollars requested for servicing of water and sewer reticulations at Aus, Berseba, Tses, Ariamsvlei, Grünau and Noordoewer were reduced to zero.
Plans to construct an office for the Koës Village Council were also stopped.
“The projects are deferred to the 2018/19 financial year, so hopefully if the economy improves, our fortunes will change,” Sachika said.
This means the bucket toilet system will not be eliminated by the end of 2017 as promised by President Hage Geingob, Minister of Urban and Rural Development Sophia Shaningwa and //Kharas Governor Lucia Basson, amongst others.
An amount of N.dollars 10 million requested for servicing and the upgrade of roads at Aroab village was reduced to N.dollars 4 million.
Lüderitz got N.dollars 4 million for servicing after budgeting N.dollars 8 million, while Keetmanshoop received N.dollars 4 million after asking for N.dollars 10 million.
Sachika said the deficits were a result of the adverse economic situation affecting the nation.
The urban and rural development ministry itself also only received N.dollars 390 million for this financial year.
This allocation is expected to increase to N.dollars 730 million next year while it might skyrocket to over N.dollars 1 billion in the 2019/20 year.