22 Apr 2014 10:50am
RUNDU, 22 APR (NAMPA) The first phase of renovations at the dilapidated Kavango Museum have been completed, but a lack of funds is delaying the start of the second phase.
The museum, located at the Maria Mwengere Cultural Centre here, was in a deteriorating state in recent years.
Most objects kept inside the building were in a bad condition, while the museum's roof also partly collapsed.
It was built in 1985, and during the colonial era was open to Whites only, while members of the Black community were only allowed to visit the zoo situated at the same centre.
This museum was not used after Namibia attained its independence in 1990.
Most wooden objects were destroyed by insects, while others deteriorated due to a lack of proper care.
Some wooden, leather and grass objects kept in the museum such as fishing baskets are said to have decoloured.
The only objects which have managed to retain their original colour and which are still in good condition, are those made of steel.
Work on the building, amongst other things, involved rehabilitating the ceiling, the roof, tiling the floor as well as repainting the whole building.
Locals with interest in the preservation of cultural items and history have blamed the buildings poor condition squarely on the Ministry of Youth, National Service, Sports and Culture, saying it had failed to appoint a curator for the museum.
Helvi Mbwalala, the new curator appointed in August 2012, confirmed to Nampa on Tuesday that some renovations on the Kavango Museum building started in May last year, and were completed towards the end of July that year.
She said the second phase of the facelift, which will involve installing air-conditioners and adding more lights, is currently on hold due to limited funds.
It might get off the ground during the current financial year.
A total of N.dollars 500 000 was budgeted for the renovation of the museum. The Litu Construction Company was awarded the tender to do the renovations.
Once renovations are completed, the curator will embark on research and the collection of artefacts from all corners of the region, especially from the five traditional authorities here, to display in the museum.