4 NEWS Monday, July 10 2017 | NEW ERA Neckartal Dam to be completed in December Albertina Nakale Windhoek The construction of the Neckartal Dam in the //Kharas Region is nearing completion and the envisaged final date of completion is around December 2017, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Percy Misika, revealed. In an interview with New Era on how far this project is among other planned water sources projects, Misika said that its completion would be followed by the development of an irrigation system before benefits can be reaped from the dam. The project is expected to support irrigated agriculture. The dam will be Namibia’s biggest as it is about three times bigger than the Hardap Dam near Mariental in the Hardap Region. Neckartal is being built some 40 kilometres north-west of Keetmanshoop in the Fish River in the Snyfontein area of Berseba village. An Italian company Salini SPA secured the N.8 billion tender for the construction of the dam. The dam is one of Namibia’s biggest investments, with the creation of an estimated 12,000 permanent jobs after its completion. Misika said the government is as well strengthening the development of water supply infrastructure to increase the yield of the water supply system, through dam constructions like Neckartal and feasibility studies to transfer water to water-scarce areas. In addition, he noted the government has prepared a project proposal for floodwater harvesting that is ready for implementation once financial resources are secured. Last year, the ministry of agriculture’s augmentation study indicated that the only water supply options available for the central regions are Kavango River abstraction and desalinated water from the coast. Misika said studies on these options are almost completed, as all the technical studies are completed, except for the environmental reports, which are expected to be concluded by end of July 2017. He said the desalination is part of the comprehensive approach of the Technical Committee of Experts and Cabinet Committee on Water Supply Security to ensure water security for the coastal areas. A rapid assessment study was carried out last year and preliminary work for a full study is underway. However, he clarified the two options are still being considered. On the plans for the government to buy Areva desalination plant, which is being offered at a price of N billion, Misika said that option is being investigated, but the government has no concrete response at this stage. Last year, the government also planned to immediately start water supply into Olushandja Dam, rehabilitate Etaka and pump water to Uuvudhiya, while production boreholes will be developed at Oshandi in Ohangwena Region. When asked how far these plans are in being realized, Misika said water supply into Olushandja has always been pumped from the Kunene River. “That is why it does not dry up despite the high evaporation rate in that area. The rehabilitation of the Etaka canal is still being investigated. The ministry through its directorate of water supply and sanitation coordination is busy with a study on how the Etaka canal can be rehabilitated,” he disclosed. Moreover, he noted the boreholes in Oshandi will be developed with the installation of a de-floridization plant due to the high level of fluoride in the water. He said as soon as such plant is acquired, the work will commence. Critics have accused the government of waiting for critical times before it acts in terms of water shortage. “This is not true, the government has consistently developed water supply infrastructure to serve as water sources when there is no rainfall and when the underground water tables are too low,” said Misika. Bogus traditional doctor appears in court Selma Ikela Windhoek One of the two bogus traditional healers who were last week apprehended by the police over claims of defrauding the public appeared in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court on Thursday on charges of theft under the false pretence of being a traditional healer. The man, a Ugandan national Jamada Kikabi, who trades under Dr Gombe, Dr Zamba and Dr Juma, amongst others, was denied bail and his case was postponed to September 4 this year. Public prosecutor Tatelo Cuthbert Lusepani said the State is objecting to bail because there is a fear that Kikabi is a flight risk and that he has no legal status in the country. “It is understood that he (Kikabi) overstayed and has to be charged by immigration,” said Lusepani. Kikabi told the court he would conduct his own defence. He further stated that he cured his client and has proof. “One got a job and I never charged anyone any amount like that, my treatment is around N0 and N0,” Kikabi charged. Magistrate Ruben Mutuku presided over the matter. Nampol Khomas regional crime investigation coordinator Deputy Commissioner Abner Agas separately told New Era that Kikabi appeared alone because there was already a case of theft under false pretence opened against him. Agas stated that there are two other Ugandan nationals in police custody pending police investigation. He said they are expected to appear in court during the course of this week. Kibabi was arrested last Monday with another alleged traditional healer who trades under Dr Luck and a fellow Ugandan whom the two ‘doctors’ employed to distribute leaflets advertising their services in town. They were arrested under an immigration warrant of detention because the trio did not have documents or valid passports to be in the country. On their leaflets the traditional healers claim they heal people with HIV/Aids, have rats which bring the client money, bring back lost lovers, and ensure job promotions, among many others. Professing to heal… Ugandan national Jamada Kikabi, who trades as Dr Gombe, Dr Zamba and Dr Juma, amongst others, appeared in court last week Thursday. Photo: Selma Ikela Matheus Hamutenya Keetmanshoop Leaders in the //Kharas Region say the regional resettlement committee and its chairperson should be given the powers to have the final say on the selection of people for resettlement in the region. Currently the regional resettlement committee only makes recommendations to the National Resettlement Committee, while the minister of land reform has the final say on the recommended applicants. The sentiments were expressed during a consultative workshop on the review of the National Resettlement Policy of 2001 at Keetmanshoop on Thursday, with the regional leaders saying the regional committee must be given all the powers to resettle people. “The regional committee should be given the power to resettle people in the region – let us decentralise the power,” said Oranjemund Constituency Councillor Lazarus Nangolo, who felt it is better to decentralise the selection power to the regional committee to make the final approval on who gets resettled Percy Misika //Kharas ask for empowerment of regional resettlement committee in the region. Nangolo also called on lawmakers not to allow resettled farmers to buy the farms after a period of time, as per the reviewed resettlement policy, saying land should remain the property of the state and not be sold to private individuals. He said Namibians find themselves in a situation without land because the colonial government allowed private land ownership, and this should not be allowed to happen again. Councillor Elias !Kharuxab of Keetmanshoop Rural Constituency echoed Nangolo’s sentiments on the decentralisation of power, questioning why the Ministry of Land Reform has only decentralised some functions and not all of them. He said decentralisation cannot be done in half, and therefore the power to resettle people in the region should be with the regional resettlement committee, and not with the land reform minister as is the case now. “Why are we given half? We should be given the power as a region to make the final decision for ourselves on who should be resettled here,” he said. H e f u r t h e r c a l l e d f o r representation on the regional resettlement committee to be inclusive of the village councils and regional councillors whom he said represent the people. Keetmanshoop Mayor Gaudentia Kronhe said people should be resettled in their respective regions, citing work commitments and other logistical issues when relocating to farms far from where they live, saying people cannot be expected to quit their jobs and relocate to other regions to be near their farms. “My plea is that people be resettled in their own region, so this programme must be decentralised so that the resettlement committee can resettle people in their own region,” she suggested. Others in attendance called for a fair and transparent programme and for more assistance from the government to resettled farmers to enable them to farm productively, while some felt leasing the farms is hindering the development of the farms, and people should be allowed to buy and develop the farms.
Monday, July 10 2017| NEW ERA NEWS 5 Shafudah grilled over unexplained N8m Ngaevarue Katjangua Windhoek Photo: Obrein Simasiku For good cause… The Governor of Oshikoto Region, Henock Kankoshi, Omuthiya Town Council CEO Samuel Mbango, former Mayors of Omuthiya Heskiel Nanyeni and Selma Nakaziko, and Mayor Toivo Nghilalulwa launching the mayoral fund. Omuthiya Mayoral Fund receives N0,000 in pledges Obrein Simasiku Omuthiya Approximately N0,000 was received in pledges to the Omuthiya Mayoral Fund at a fundrasing dinner held during the launch of the fund on Saturday at Omuthiya. The pledges were short of the N0,000 target the town set for itself. The fund will be used to finance various initiatives for vulnerable children in the town, which had more than 3,000 registered vulnerable children, according to the Governor of Oshikoto Region, Henock Kanksohi. The fund would also finance educational activities and the annual Christmas lunch for senior citizens. “The magnitude of this problem has strained traditional support systems, thus placing many of these children in critical need of external support. Some of the children have even become heads of families, a responsibility that is hard uzeeko Tjitemisa indhoek he Minister of Urban and Rural evelopment, Sophia Shaningwa, has alled on the private sector to join forces ith the government to help eliminate the se of bucket toilets. Government needs bout N.9 million to eliminate the bucket oilet system in the country. She made the call during the handing ver of the N0,000 donation by Sanlam owards the government’s bucket toilet limination initiative in the capital on Friday. The year 2017 is the year the government as set as the deadline to double the number f Namibian households with access to anitation. Statistically the quest is to improve anitation from the current 34 percent to 0 percent of the population by year-end. Shaningwa earlier this year promised not o rest until the roll-out of 50,000 rural toilets for them to maintain,” he said during the launch of the fund. Kanksohi stated that the more than 3,000 children in Omuthiya “are registered as vulnerable and orphans by either having lost one or both parents”. “Public assistance is required to provide these children with adequate food, healthcare, clothing, education and psycho-social support. Thus assistance of this nature we appreciate for the beneficiaries” added Kankoshi. The gala dinner was attended by close to 200 people. The idea of the mayoral fund was born as a result of the council in previous years struggling to source enough funds for such purposes, especially with its annual senior citizens’ Christmas function. “Without senior citizens, we would not be where we are and would never learn from past mistakes. There are many things they have tried and tested and we have come to learn from them what has proposed under the social progression pillar of the Harambee Prosperity Plan. Shaningwa said the ministry is targeting to eliminate bucket toilets and assist some 1,852 households that are historically using the bucket system in Maltahöhe, Hoachanas, Gibeon, Klein-Aub in the Hardap Region, Aus, Berseba, Koës in the //Karas Region, Fransfontein in the Kunene, Gobabis in Omaheke and Kalkfeld in the Otjozondjupa Region, which will cost N.9 million. She expressed profound gratitude to Sanlam for its generous contribution, assuring the company that the ministry has a plan and its money will be used for the intended purpose. “The money will make a visible difference to the needy communities who are living in regions where we plan to expand our bucket toilet elimination programmes,” said Shaningwa. She said the realisation of the government’s sanitation goals require collaborative efforts worked and what did not work for society. Therefore they are anchors in our families and ensure stability in our communities, hence we honour and respect them for their contributions to our society in general,” stressed Kankosi, while encouraging the public to come on board and support the initiative in order to serve its intended purpose. The Mayor of Omuthiya, Toivo Nghilalulwa, used the opportunity to inform the public that the town council is not standing idle waiting for funds from the government, instead it is pushing on with service delivery in conjunction with the business fraternity. “An example of this is Extension Six where 180 plots were recently serviced through a public-private partnership agreement for phase one, while another 180 plots will be serviced under the same agreement in phase two,” stated Nghilalulwa. Private sector must assist govt to eliminate bucket toilets from the government, the private sector, the community and donor partners. She said that since independence, the government has identified and prioritized sanitation as one of the conditions for socio-economic development and placed improved access to potable water and sanitation facilities and services high on its agenda. “As a demonstration of commitment to address sanitation, the government has adopted a National Sanitation Strategy and is a signatory to continental and international conventions that seek to place sanitation and hygiene at the top of its development agenda,” said Shaningwa. She said this strategy recognizes and provides for the construction and provision of standardised subsidised toilets and also community involvement, advocacy and a change of behaviour and improved coordination among the various role players in the sector. Ministry of Finance permanent secretary Ericah Shafudah could last week not give a breakdown of how the N8 million budgeted under an account labelled “others” in the 2017/2018 financial year was to be used, as requested by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Accounts (PSCPA). The PSCPA reviewed the Appropriation Act for the financial year 2017-2018 and uncovered a number of issues of concern to the committee that required further explanation from accounting officers, specifically regarding an account called “others”, which appears in all budget votes of offices, ministries and agencies. The committee also reviewed the auditor-general’s reports on performance audit on public debt management within the Ministry of Finance, dating back to 2012. “The issue, among others, is an account called ‘others’ in all budget votes, and the committee would like the accounting officer to prepare a breakdown and explain in detail the figures contained in this account,” the committee had requested. Chairperson of the PSCPA Mike Kavekotora asked Shafudah to provide a breakdown of the amount in question. “Can the PS give an explanation of how for the past two financial years the ministry of finance had no budget under the ‘others’ account… [yet] for the 2017/2018 financial year the ministry felt the need to budget a substantial amount in the middle of a financial crisis.” Shafudah could not provide further details and said the only explanation she could muster to justify the more than N0 million in the “others” account was that it was intended for consultants, but she could not provide the requested details of how much was intended for what purpose. “We have three consultants, who are implementing systems at the Ministry of Finance. We have a consultant who is the administrator for Psemas (the Public Service Employees Medical Aid Scheme). “We have a consultant administrating the integrated financial management system, and another who is developing the integrated tax administration system, which makes up the N8 million. “So, for now I will say [the money was earmarked] for consultants,” Shafudah said. Ericah Shafudah