17 Jul 2018 19:10pm
KOMBAT, 17 JUL (NAMPA) - Otjozondjupa Regional Governor, Otto Ipinge has given 30 days to the Government agencies involved in the desolate school at the Neu Sommerau resettlement farm near Kombat to meet and channel all the needed services for the school to be operational.
Ipinge said this at a consultative meeting held with the community members of the farm and representatives of different Government ministries at the farm on Tuesday.
He also told community members residing on the farm to clean the premises where the school - comprised of four classrooms and two residential quarters and ablution facilities - is situated.
The new school is expected to offer education from pre-primary to Grade 3.
It was constructed by Government under the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture at a cost of over N.dollars 2 million in 2016 and has been desolate due to a lack of water and electricity services.
I therefore call upon the Otjozondjupa Regional Council and NamWater to sit down and find a lasting solution to this issue so that the school can have water and open to the public within a month, he said.
Ipinge told the education directorate in the region, which was also represented at the meeting, that by January 2019, the school should serve the purpose for which it was constructed.
The close to 500 community members pledged to start cleaning the area as from Wednesday.
On 09 July this year, the Otjozondjupa Regional Education Chief Development Planner, Veziruapi Tjombonde related to Nampa her dissatisfaction with the fact that the school was abandoned and not serving its purpose to the community.
Tjombonde accused the Ministry of Land Reform, which had purchased the land, of having failed her office by not channelling water, sewerage and electricity services to the resettlement farm.
Deputy Director in the Ministry of Land Reform at Otjiwarongo, Gotlieb Elifas on the same day said the new school building did not belong to his ministry.
He added that the ministry which constructed it was responsible for channelling electricity, water and sewage pipelines to the school in the same manner it constructed the buildings.
Elifas said the water and sewage connection points are not far away from the school as they are all situated across the B8 road, adjacent to the school buildings.
He then urged the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture to drill a borehole for water as an alternative measure.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, Sanet Steenkamp then directed this news agency via her secretary to contact Tjombonde in Otjiwarongo or the Otjozondjupa Regional Council as all the affairs of the directorate of education in the region had been decentralised.
Farm Neu Sommerau has about 2 000 inhabitants who largely depend on charcoal production as well as crop and livestock farming for income.
The children currently attend school at Kombat, situated about 10 kilometres from the core activities of the farm.
The farms residents also used the opportunity to express the state of poverty here as a grave concern, with some calling on the regional leadership to advance opportunities for them to be self-sufficient in agricultural production, while others called for the provision of electricity to the farm to enable business activities there.
Chairperson of the Otjozondjupa Regional Council, Julius Neumbo in turn said his office would want to see a database being created on the demography and economic categories of the people living at the farm.