OBABIS: The proclamation of Buitepos and Omitara as settlements by the Ministry of Regionaland Local Government, Housing and Rural Development has placed a developmental strain on the Omaheke Regional council, Nampa has leant.
As the chief custodian of all development initiatives in the region, the Omaheke Regional Council has been tasked with bringing development to the two settlements, something which has proven to be a huge challenge.
Due to the fact that a large portion of Omitara is commercial farmland, developing new erven at the newly proclaimed settlement has been virtually impossible. Also, since the proclamation of the two settlements was not met with an operational and development budget, development at the settlements has been delayed.
Jogbeth Karuuombe, acting Director of Planning and Development services in the Omaheke Regional Council said developments to the new settlements is proving to be a massive task for the regional council as it is largely hampered by lack of financial resources.
A large part of Omitara is also inhabitable due to a large underground rock plate that has made the development of erven impossible in the area, she said.
“A lot of planning has to go into turning Omitara into a fully fletched settlement. At the moment, it is an almost impossible task to achieve,” Karuuombe noted Omitara is largely home to farm workers working at neighbouring farms. But a large portion of the population at the settlement is unemployed, while a seemingly high number of people rely solely on pension and remmitance.
At Buitepos, the settlement that connects Namibia to Botswana, similar problems reign as the regional council would have to develop an entire settlement from the ground.
Buitepos is currently inhabited by immigration officials, police officers and their families stationed at the Trans-Kalahari Border post at the settlement.
There are virtually no industries at the settlement as investors find the settlement to be unprofitable due to the small number of people residing there.
“This is a national problem that needs the intervention of government as the regional council alone cannot afford to shoulder the burden of bringing much needed development to the settlement,” Karuuombe said.