The Oshikoto regional councillor of the Oniipa Constituency, Vilho Nuunyango has confirmed that the Oshigambo settlement will be upgraded to a town as part of the Rural Development Policy that was established in 2006.
Nuunyango during a formal hearing on the proposed upgrade of the settlement in the Oshikoto Region on Monday said that in a democratic world, people have the right to express their opinions on what could be good or bad for development.
Nuunyango said the town could be established ‘as soon as possible’ once they deal with administration issues, during the 2023/2024 financial year.
‘We are happy for the Rural Development Policy as it is a responsive tool to the rural economy in reducing poverty and improving the livelihood of rural communities,’ Nuunyango said.
He made the announcement after a concerned group from Oshigambo that consisted of 47 members objected to the upgrade.
The group representative, Jona Mushelenga noted that Namibia is a democratic country and as such, everyone has a rig
ht to express their opinion. He said there has been a lack of proper consultation regarding the matter by the stakeholders.
Mushelenga said there are environmental and socio-economic impacts on local communities, and this raises concern about the sustainability of the wellbeing of local communities.
He also raised concern about towns that were downgraded to village councils in recent years for failing to meet the required standards.
Mushelenga stated that 99 per cent of Oshigambo residents would not be able to cope with living in a town as there is a high number of unemployment or underemployment.
‘It is only one per cent of our residents who can keep up with the living standards of a town, the rest are weak and underprivileged,’ said Mushelenga.
He also raised concerns about the water scarcity in the area and what residents are planning to do to resolve the crisis.
‘We are planning to dig a water point… NamWater is no longer a reliable source of supply of water,’ he said.
Mushelenga on behalf of the g
roup requested that the upgrading of Oshigambo be subjected to further scrutiny, saying they trust that the Oshikoto Regional Council will recognise the significance of their concern.
Source: The Namibian Press Agency