Treat Kavango as a special case: Mbangu

RUNDU: Rundu Rural Constituency councillor Paulus Mbangu has said Central Government has not properly addressed poverty in the two Kavango regions over the past 34 years and called on it to treat the regions as a special case.

Mbangu made the statement recently in a meeting the regional leadership of the Kavango East Region had with Minister of Mines and Energy, Tom Alweendo, on rural electrification.

He said scientific data and evidence indicating that the two Kavango regions are the poorest have been collected during Income Expenditure Surveys and by the United Nations Development Programme over the years, and at no point did Cabinet or Government use this data to address poverty in the two regions.

‘It’s not an exaggeration when we say that Central Government has been too ignorant of the plight of our people. The planning of resources and allocation, be it in rural electrification or other sectors, has never been informed by these data, thus carrying out surveys in the country is pointless,’ Mbangu comp

The councillor further claimed that there is ‘serious energy poverty’ in the Kavango regions as well.

‘Houses are in darkness. If our government was a caring government, it would mobilise resources to bring these regions up to par with other affluent regions,’ he said.

Mbangu went on to state that the current ongoing electrification of schools project is not addressing energy poverty in the Kavango East Region.

Electricity, he added, is a catalyst for development, and communities are still in darkness while schools have been electrified.

He thus called on the ministry to start electrifying villages and to treat the Kavango regions as a special case as informed by the scientific data.

In response to Mbangu’s statements, Alweendo said the ministry has not neglected electrifying households, but prioritised public institutions first in order to clear that backlog.

Chairperson of the Kavango East Regional Council, Damian Maghambayi said rural electrification was moving very slowly in the region, par
ticularly electrification to rural household communities.

Household electrification, he said, is a central pillar of national development efforts, and a primary tool to address and alleviate poverty.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency