Local authorities urged to listen to community members

19 Oct 2018 16:50pm
WALVIS BAY, 19 OCT (NAMPA) – Vice President (VP) Nangolo Mbumba has called on local authorities to avail opportunities to community members to air their views on best solutions to help them develop.
Mbumba said this in a speech read on his behalf during the official opening of the second joint Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Association of Local Authorities in Namibia (ALAN), and the Alliance of Mayors and Municipal Leaders on HIV/Aids in Africa (AMICAALL) here on Thursday.
“The challenging environment requires that we do not deny or gloss over the real challenges which are facing our people, but rather collectively apply our minds in a positive manner to seek for innovative solutions and as we seek solutions, let these not come from the top down,” the VP said.
Mbumba added that there is great need to take a break from the neatly thought-through analysis of what top leaders think is the best for the people, and instead go to them in their communities and permit them to propose solutions.
“Such a people-centred approach will assist us to arrive at contextual and permanent solutions which are responsive and effective.”
Mbumba added that the congress comes at a time when the Namibian government is faced with increased difficulties in its service delivery functions to the people of Namibia, due to the recessionary state of the economy.
“When financial resources are scares, budget cuts deeply affect those at the bottom of our society which are the unemployed or the less skilled majority members of our society.”
At the same time, the rising costs of living as reflected in increasing petrol, food and service costs in an environment of low or non-wage growth also impact negatively on this same section of society, he noted.
ALAN President Katrina Shimbulu at the same event said an organised local government is the key to success and will enable it to speak with one voice on issues pertinent for local government survival.
The AGM which is expected to end on Saturday brings together all local authorities and various stakeholders to deliberate on policy, legislative and developmental issues affecting the effective and efficient service delivery at the local level in Namibia.
The meeting is held under the theme ‘The transition to sustainable towns and territories, the role of local authorities’. It also serves as a platform for networking and sharing of best practices while promoting partnerships between interlinking sectors.