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New Era Newspaper Thursday December 21, 2017

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6 NEWS Thursday, December 21 2017 | NEW ERA Merry Christmas... Early pensioners in the Otjozondjupa region receive early Christmas gift and lunch. Okakarara senior citizens get Christmas treat Staff Reporter Windhoek Over 200 elderly people from the Okakarara Constituency settlement to enjoy an early Christmas lunch and gifts organised by the Okakarara Constituency Councillor, Dundee Precious Metal, China Henan International Co-operation Group and Otjituuo Youth Group co-sponsored the lunch at a cost treated to a meal and gift combo consisting of a radio and a torch. were selected due to the great importance they play in the lives of the elders. radio to follow current events while the torches come in handy, as most of the pensioners live in areas where there is no electricity. meant to celebrate the lives of the elders and the roles they play in the communities. “It is important to show our elderly great love and support, this will stand as a symbol of our gratitude to them,” he said. Ploughing subsidy still active in Omusati Nuusita Ashipala Ongwediva Chairperson of the Omusati Regional Council, Modestus Amutse, has assured the region’s communal farmers that government’s ploughing and tractor subsidy would continue. Amutse said he was disappointed in the region have been misleading the public, informing them that the subsidy would only be accorded to people with registered companies. He said the matter has since been resolved with the ministry, and appealed to the public to continue registering at their respective constituencies. The affected groups are those who avail tractors to be used by government for others through the governmentsubsidised ploughing scheme. “The (agriculture) ministry’s policy is clear, hence individual groups are exempted from providing company registration as was alleged in the false alert,” said Amutse in a telephonic interview. ministry’s intervention, refused to accept payment vouchers from service providers, who rendered service to the community as of September. According to Amutse, the government’s aim in providing subsidies to the farmers is to empower the communities in order to grow the economy and address unemployment. “The idea behind the programme is to enhance food security and to provide an income for people who are eager to do something for themselves,” he further elaborated. Amutse said the subsidy programme has been effective, especially for individuals and groups that have been “With the subsidy they get, they are able to send their children to school and sustain themselves and their families.” Chairperson of the Omusati Regional Council, Modestus Amutse Merciless festive season for illegal campers SWAKOPMUND There will be no mercy for those found overnighting illegally in the Dorob National Park, which includes the Swakopmund beaches, this festive season. These were the stern words of officials from the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) and the Namibian Coast Conservation and Management Project (NACOMA), speaking to Nampa on Tuesday. Normally, visitors without permits to overnight are expected to vacate the park by 21h00, but in the past two years, revellers ignored that. “We decided enough is enough and we approached the law enforcement be issued without any compromise this year. So, let the public be warned,” MET park warden, Jeremia Lamek, said. Lamek said at a meeting on 7 December in Walvis Bay, the Namibian Navy and the Namibian 200 for illegal overnighting or camping. is that holidaymakers leave piles of garbage lying around the beaches and dunes. This leaves the cleaning to only 10 NACOMA and MET staff and volunteers. Lamek said their eyes would be on Long Beach, Mile 4 Beach, Independence Beach and the Dune 7 areas. Those found selling merchandise in the park without a permit would Nature Conservation Amendment Act No. 3 of 2017. NACOMA environmentalist, Alexander Alexander, told Nampa the annual cleaning campaign for the beaches and dunes started on 13 December and would remain operational till 10 January. He said unlike last year, where the areas were full of plastics and other undesirable objects already by early December, this year the beaches are clean with just a few littered items to be picked up here and there. “We want to keep it clean like this until the festive season is over, hopefully the public will assist us in this regard by not throwing rubbish on the ground.” Alexander used the opportunity to thank individual donor, Merrilyn Leippert for supporting this year’s cleaning campaign with much needed Observer Agency for contributing 000. “The money will be used to pay volunteers, service vehicles and buy a little food,” he said. The Swakopmund and Walvis Bay municipalities donated a combined 1 200 garbage bags for the cleaning operation. - Nampa

Thursday, December 21 2017 | NEW ERA NEWS 7 Paddock Gardens, a community greenspace Staff Reporter Windhoek If you are in Swakopmund you will possibly see the lush green gardens along the beach in Vineta suburb. So welcoming and picturisque are the gardens that one is enticed to get out of snap chat with the background of lush gardens rolling into the ocean. What is not known by many members of the public is that these public gardens are an initiative of the homeowners whose property line Vineta beach. Set between the beach and residences, the gardens are an extension of the municipality’s gardens along the walkway which starts at the Mole. The gardens are becoming more established and attractive, drawing an ever-increasing number of Swakopmunders to walk, jog, play with a family picnic. The spectacular for colourful wedding group photo sessions. School groups and sports clubs use the lawns for training exercises and people frequently sit and eat lunch with friends during breaks from nearby worksites. These gardens are known as the Paddock Gardens, and were set up by the homeowners who wanted to transform the sandy desert beach into something more attractive. The garderns came to fruition through a trust, called Paddock Gardens Trust, that was established in 2002 “when homeowners whose properties overlook the Paddock decided to collaborate to protect and develop the area between their houses and the sea as an open, accessible and attractive public garden”. According to the trust, the Swakopmund Town Council passed a resolution granting the trust user rights over the Paddock and agreed to support the project materially, providing grass for the initial lawns, plants for the interlinking areas, grey water, technical assistance and the occasional use of machinery. “The Paddock Gardens Trust has committed itself to the development and upkeep of the gardens and to the administration of the project,” says the statement from the trust. The trust employs a local gardening service, and Photos: Contributed A gem… Set between the beach and residences, the Paddock Gardens are an extension of the municipality’s gardens along the walkway that starts at the Mole. They are famous for weddings and picnics. engages a Swakopmund accounting transactions and the purchase of essential gardening equipment. These expenses are met by a fund comprising members and supporters of the trust. Annual contributions are voluntary and the level of contribution is determined by trust members at the annual general meeting. Interestingly, the trust members say there have been attempts by property developers via applications to the council to take control of the Paddock – to lease or purchase the land. “However, because of the council’s commitment to support community-driven projects that aim to uplift the town, and because of the successful work of the PGT which has transformed a once neglected, vandalised and litter-ridden patch of sand, into an attractive, well-used public garden, all such proposals have been turned down,” read the statement. council’s stated aims in its Medium and Long Term Plan for Swakopmund, which prioritised the creation of accessible recreational green spaces, and the development of the whole Swakopmund beachfront, as opposed to the current over-concentration on the Mole/Strand Street section. For the past 16 years local residents – organised into the Paddock Gardens Trust and electing an operating committee – have been developing, maintaining and running the park. Most members are passionate about it, parting voluntarily with a yearly contribution to keep the gardens going and protect them against builders and business people keen to turn the age-old common land into privately owned real estate. “It is a rare example of community spirit in action: a local initiative, backed by the council, that has led to the creation of a well-used, well-loved recreation area,” said the statement. Ruined… Some of the damaged houses. Rain leaves some mass houses in a mess John Muyamba Rundu The strong wind that accompanied the heavy rains on Monday afternoon ripped off the roofs of some of the houses constructed by Green Cycle AIJ Investments under the government’s mass housing programme at Rundu. The roofs of three houses were completely ripped off their frames while the roofs of other houses were severely damaged, with metal sheets mangled in piles atop the exposed frames. The owners are now in a quandary not the state-owned National Housing Enterprise Hopes fades for missing American tourist Eveline de Klerk Walvis Bay The search for Mark Mokosso, a 37-yearold American tourist of Senegalese descent who recently went missing in a rugged, mountainous area in Erongo Region, continues with the Namibian police having beefed up the search party. The police have reinforced their manpower involved in the search and also deployed a second helicopter as hopes to in the Klein Brandberg Mountains in the (NHE), which was previously responsible for implementing the mass housing programme, says it is no longer responsible for the houses, since the mandate was taken away from it by the urban and rural development ministry. “You know the mandate to construct those houses was taken away from NHE by the ministry. We can’t say anything, speak to them,” said NHE’s senior communication The permanent secretary in the Ministry of Urban and Rural development, Daniel Nghidinua, who requested that questions be sent via email, did not respond before going to print. Some residents are questioning the quality of the houses, saying cheap building vicinity of Uis, after he embarked upon a hiking trip alone last week Friday. Updating New Era on Tuesday on the disappearance of the nature-loving tourist, Namibian police crime investigations coordinator for Erongo Region, Deputy Commissioner Erastus Iikuyu, said they have not yet spotted any sign of the tourist and that more police along with locals were currently looking for him. “We suspect that he took a wrong road on his way to the camping site, and most likely lost direction overall. We are worried about his well-being hence we deployed more members to search for him,” said Iikuyu. Iikuyu also indicated that although no family member of the missing tourist has arrived in Namibia, they have been constantly updated through the American embassy with which the police are in contact. “Time is of the essence. We do not even know whether he had enough water with materials were used, adding that the wind appeared to have only caused serious damage to the mass houses and not other houses in the vicinity. Henny Seibeb, the managing member in Green Cycle AIJ, the contracting company that constructed the units, declined to comment, saying the questions should be addressed by the technical personnel who worked on the project. He then forwarded several mobile numbers of the technical personnel he said must answer the questions. The rain also damaged the roof of the ELCIN church in Kaisosi just near the NHE mass house project, as it did to the buildings at Unam Rundu Campus and some houses in Kehemu. him. However, we will continue with our Mokosso rented a Ford Ranger belonging to Namibia Car Rentals last Friday and drove with it to Uis, where he went missing. He was last seen on Friday where he had parked his vehicle next to the gravel road leading to Xoboxobos and walked towards the Klein Brandberg, where he started his hiking adventure. Residents of the area during the evening realised he did not return as the vehicle was police in the area. Iikuyu explained that a search party was sent out on Friday night but he was not found. “A second search attempt was launched on Saturday after which the Special Field Force and a helicopter were called in to assist,” Iikuyu said. Iikuyu appealed to residents in the area to continue assisting the police. Man dies in accident on Okondjatu gravel road OTJIWARONGO A 56-year-old man died shortly after he was involved in a road accident between Okondjatu and Okatjaveva villages on Monday afternoon. The deceased, who was the driver of the vehicle, was identified as Assasker Katunohange, Namibian Police Force (NamPol) spokesperson in the Maureen Mbeha said. She told Nampa on Wednesday that Katunohange was travelling with his 16-year-old son, Mbahimua Katunohange, at the time of the accident. The accident occurred at approximately 19h56 and Katunohange was pronounced dead on arrival at the Okondjatu clinic where he was taken after the accident. His son sustained multiple injuries and is receiving medical treatment at the Okakarara state hospital where he was admitted that same Monday. Preliminary police investigations indicate that Katunohange had lost control of the vehicle due to the bad condition of the gravel road between Okondjatu and Okatjaveva near Okakarara. “His vehicle had left the road, rolled several times and landed on its roof a few metres from the road,” said Mbeha. Police investigations continue. - Nampa

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New Era Newspaper Vol 22 No 167