Asab info centre plans to accommodate tourists

17 Dec 2013 14:50pm
By Paulus Shiku
ASAB, 17 DEC (NAMPA) - The community tourist information centre at the Asab village is set to provide accommodation for tourists in traditional Nama huts.
The village is situated along the B1 road, about 90 kilometres from Mariental in the Hardap Region in the direction of Keetmanshoop in the //Karas Region.
Elizabeth Fleermuys, one of the three women who recently reopened the centre, told Nampa on Tuesday that they are currently gathering building materials such as twigs and grass for the construction of the huts.
The plan is to erect four huts at the centre by January next year, and tourists will be accommodated there for a fee, which is still to be determined.
Fleermuys said the aim is to generate more income for themselves and the wider community of Asab.
The centre also offers other services such as flush toilets and showers, and sells refreshments.
Traditional Nama crafts made by the three women - Fleermuys, Wilma Thanises and Katrina Kooper – are also on sale here.
“Members of the community are free to bring their crafts so that we can sell for them. We just want to help the community make some money, as we are also generating our own income,” Fleermuys noted.
The centre was built in 2010 by the Namibia Development Trust (NDT) and a number of other partners to help the community generate income, and alleviate poverty in the area.
It was closed over the past two years due to a lack of water at the village. The water problem was resolved in November last year, and the three women re-opened it during July this year.
Fleermuys explained that to reopen the centre, the trio put down a specific amount of money to pay for electricity and water.
They also pay N.dollars 500 monthly rent to the Asab Community Trust for occupying the centre.
Although she would not say how much profit they make through the sale of crafts and refreshments, Fleermuys said they are generating a good income.
The centre is the only place in Asab which sells food, drinks and other goods needed for day-to-day use, and the women say it therefore also helps to satisfy some of the villagers’ needs for basic goods.
Challenges, however, remain, such as water shortages for the toilets and showers due to poor water pressure from the nearby tanks.
“When the five water tanks are filled with water from the borehole, the pressure is enough to supply the centre, but when the water level decreases, the centre cannot get water,” Fleermuys stated.
The tanks are filled to capacity once a month only, meaning that as the level decreases towards the middle of the month, the centre is left without water.
There is furthermore a need for a sign board near the road to advertise the centre to travellers, as they sometimes miss it.
“People do not know we are offering services here. Sometimes they look at the building, and think it is a Government office,” she stated.
Fleermuys thus used the opportunity to request assistance from anyone willing to assist them with the erection of a sign, or to help them with installing one more tank close to the centre.