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‘Dividing Oshikoto a waste of money’

Written by on June 4, 2024

… Governor says he was not consulted on proposal

The governor of the Oshikoto region, Penda ya Ndakolo, says there is no need to divide the Oshikoto region into two, as it will hinder development and will be too costly.

He told The Namibian in an interview yesterday that he is shocked to hear there are some individuals pushing their own agenda by proposing for Oshikoto to be divided into two regions by basing their proposals on tribal grounds with no objectives.

“I was not consulted, including the constituency councils as well. I know that it is their democratic right to propose for a new region, but I think that they were supposed to consult us first before making their submissions,” Ya Ndakolo said.

“I really don’t see the point of dividing the region into two, because it will cost the government more resources,” he said.

Ya Ndakolo said that during his presentation to the delimitation committee, he proposed the establishment of a new constituency, because the existing constituencies of Eengodi, Okankolo, Nehale Lya Mpingana and Omuthiya are rural and remote, which makes them inaccessible due to a lack of road infrastructure, other communication networks and the nature of the topography.

He said a new constituency will allow inhabitants of these constituencies to receive the required services from their constituency offices and other government and private institutions without travelling long distances to access services.

Omuntele Youth Forum chairperson Uugulu Indileni, speaking on behalf of concerned inhabitants, told The Namibian he does not support the views of Ya Ndakolo, as the proposal for the establishment of a new region will not be based on an individual’s point of view, but on the concerned masses.

“Community members must be the ones to make these decisions and not the governor or the councillors, since they are the ones who fail to have community consultations. The region is too big and it needs to be split into two to allow better planning and development,” he says.

Nehale Lya Mpingana constituency councilor Joseph Shilongo says the Oshikoto region has a total of 11 constituencies and he is in support of Ya Ndakolo’s proposal of a new constituency.

The inhabitants of the Oshikoto region have made a proposal to the Boundaries Delimitation and Demarcation Commission of Namibia for the Oshikoto region to be divided into two regions.

The proposed new region will be known as the Oshikoto West region.

Community members are calling for a new region to aid and accelerate a proper and balanced developmental plan and to strengthen the country’s regional planning and governance at regional and local levels.

Indileni says at independence, most government services in northern Namibia where concentrated in one area, namely Ondangwa, and this had a historical impact on the settlements in and around Ondangwa and on their dependence on Ondangwa for daily services.

“This dynamics changed, but over the years, the populations of areas and settlements around Ondangwa continued to grow, hence this proposal of creating a new region,” he says, adding that the proposed region will be comprised of areas between Oshana, Oshikoto and Ohangwena.

He says people from Onayena, Olukonda and Oniipa in the Oshikoto region, people from the larger part of Omulonga and south-west of Eenhana constituencies of Ohangwena region and people from Okagali, UukwiyuUshona, Okaku and Ondangwa Rural constituencies in the Oshana region get most of their daily services and urban amenities from Ondangwa.

Indileni says it is proposed that the followimg constituencies form part of the new region to strengthen planning and regional governance: Oniipa, Onayena, Olukonda from the Oshikoto region with a total population of about 61 000 inhabitants; Ondangwa Urban, Uukwiyuushona and Okatyali constituencies from the Oshana region with a total population of about 49 000; part of Omulonga and some parts of Eenhana constituencies at the border between the Eenhana and Onayena constituencies, with a population of about 32 802 from the Ohangwena region.

The new region (Oshikoto West) will have about 146 517 inhabitants.

Oshikoto’s population has grown from 181 973 people in 2011 to 257 302 in 2023.

Indileni says with this proposed change, the region’s population will slightly decrease to about 192 588.

Ohangwena region’s population has grown from 245 446 in 2011 to 337 729 in 2023, but with this proposed change, the region’s population will decrease slightly to about 304 927, said Indileni.

He said the Oshana region’s population has grown from over 176 000 in 2011 to 230 801 in 2023, and with the proposed change, the region’s population will decrease to about 181 800, a number he says is manageable and good for guided development and governance.

He says community members have consulted a number of stakeholders, such as the Ondonga Traditional Authority, the regional governors of the Oshana, Oshikoto and Ohangwena regions, the regional councils of the three affected regions, Ondangwa and Oniipa town councils, community members, church leaders and the business community.

Efforts by The Namibian to get comment from urban and rural development minister Erastus Uutoni yesterday were futile.

The post ‘Dividing Oshikoto a waste of money’ appeared first on The Namibian.

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