BUITEPOS: The sudden surge in the population of Buitepos has placed tremendous strain on water and electricity resources here as the current supply is not enough to cater for the entire settlement.
Due to the fact that more than half of the land at Buitepos is privately-owned, the development of boreholes and other means of extracting water have been impossible.
As such, the inhabitants of this border settlement are forced to endure frequent water and electricity cuts – often for days on end.
The surge in population is largely owing to new Government, parastatal and private agencies’ offices opening at the settlement.
This state of affairs, according to settlement chairperson Naftali Kambungu, is costing the settlement dearly as businesses decline setting up shop here due to the limited water and electricity supply.
“We have had various business people expressing interest in opening businesses here, but when they look at the supply of water and electricity, they write off such possibility.
Without enough water and electricity supply, the settlement will not be able to fully attract much-needed business investments,” he told Nampa on Thursday.
Buitepos has a single grocery shop, owned by a certain Deon van Vuuren, a commercial farmer who also owns the larger portion of Buitepos.
Van Vuuren also owns the settlement’s sole overnight accommodation units, and a host of other smaller businesses at Buitepos.
The Omaheke Regional Council, under whose administration Buitepos falls, only owns a third of the land at the settlement.
Although business prospects at the settlement, based on the number of people making use of the Trans-Kalahari Border-post here have been on the increase, the absence of a formidable business industry at Buitepos has been a major setback.
Kambungu said the Omaheke Regional Council has been hard at work to service the settlement in order to make it feasible for investment, but such efforts are yet to bear the desired results.
“It will not be an overnight thing. The process of turning a settlement into a village, with virtually no existing business activities present to boost such transition, is a huge task,” he noted.
Buitepos is home to less than 200 people.
The settlement, however, experiences high traffic volumes, with about 400 people passing through the border in either direction on a daily basis.
It was declared a settlement by the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development in 2010.