Oshakati takes over Onawa village for town expansion

14 Nov 2017 11:50am
OSHAKATI, 14 NOV (NAMPA) – The Oshakati Town Council has budgeted N.dollars 7 million to provide services to its envisaged Onawa township, said Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Sophia Shaningwa on Monday.
Speaking while officiating at the groundbreaking for the servicing of erven and construction of 3 000 low-cost houses at Onawa on Monday, Shaningwa said consulting engineers responsible to design infrastructural services and supervision of construction of work would be appointed before the end of this month.
She said houses to be developed are for the low-income earners, and beneficiaries would be allowed to pay a minimal fee for services rendered, like water provision and removal of waste.
A reception area to cater for people who are flocking to the town will also be established at Onawa, which is currently a village on the outskirts of Oshakati.
“The establishment of a reception area, particularly at this stage, shall involve many activities,” Shaningwa told her audience.
Activities include the construction of water and sanitation networks; surveying of plots and streets; installation of electricity facilities; the actual construction of Build Together houses; and construction of roads.
The Onawa village consists of 97 homesteads, and Shaningwa indicated that 89 of the homesteads have been compensated and only eight are yet to be compensated.
“Council should therefore continue to engage the affected households to conclude the compensation process in order to fast-track development,” the minister urged.
She also appealed to all contractors and engineers to see Government’s aim of quality and permanent infrastructure realised.
Shaningwa also demanded contractors to ensure that local employment is created in order to develop skills among local people.
Meanwhile, close to 100 Onawa villagers staged a protest at the homestead of their headman, Job Sheehama, at the same time Shaningwa was performing the ground-breaking ceremony, some 100 metres away.
They gathered under a tree on Sheehama’s crop field, where they told members of the media that they will not surrender their fields to the council before the government guarantees them land for relocation.
Translated from Oshiwambo, the villagers’ protest message displayed on a banner reads: “Onawa villagers have not accepted the Oshakati Town Council plan”.