Muharukua wants informal hostels in Epupa formalised

EHOMBA: Epupa Constituency Councillor Nguzu Muharukua has called on the Ministry of Education to formalise five schools with informal hostels for the benefit of the children in the constituency.

Muharukua was speaking at the handing over of two hostel blocks at the Ehomba Combined School on Wednesday.

Ehomba village is about 100 kilometres (km) north of Opuwo.

The hostels were constructed with the assistance of the former Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jenny Shipley and the government of New Zealand.

Muharukua noted that school-going children in the Epupa Constituency battle a lack of accommodation as many schools only have informal or community hostels.

These hostels do not qualify to be registered as formal hostels due to inadequate facilities. The hostels lack proper buildings, bathroom facilities, and dining halls. They also do not receive food supplies such as those registered as formal hostels with the Ministry of Education.

The informal hostels mainly make use of food received under the school feeding programme or from parents, or via special programmes initiated by the schools.

“The children face harsh situations such as extreme cold during winter and they have to cross flowing rivers during the rainy seasons to get to school and return to their homes every day or every Friday,” said Muharukua.

The councillor indicated that he wants Government to look into formalising hostels at the Ehomba Combined School; Etoto Primary School (PS) north-east of Opuwo; and Ohandungu PS some 40km north of Opuwo.

He also asked that Government look into formalising Etanga Primary School 100km west of Opuwo and Oukongo PS some 20km north of Opuwo Primary school.

The only formalised hostel in the Epupa Constituency is at the Okangwati Combined School at the Okangwati settlement about 80km south of Epupa.

Muharukua also urged the Ministry of Education to renovate the Okangwati Combined School’s hostel, which is about 46 years old.