Residents bemoan 'poorly crafted Sora'

• Wakudumo under fire for not raising 'bread and butter issues'

28 July 2020 | Local News

Kenya Kambowe

RUNDU



Kavango East governor Bonifatius Wakudumo's State of the Region Address (Sora), delivered this past Friday in Rundu, was a “poorly crafted”, according to some residents.

They said they expected more emphasis on pertinent “bread and butter issues”, and said the speech was not a true reflection of the state of the region.

One of those who criticised Wakudumo's speech is well-known social activist Paulus Mbangu, who said he was not impressed.

He said it did not speak to issues such as the servicing of land, high poverty levels in communities and high unemployment amongst the youth.



Disappointing

Last year, during former governor Samuel Mbambo's Sora, he indicated that youth unemployment stood at 62.5%, however, this year the latest statistic was not shared, Mbangu said.

“I must say, it was a disappointing speech by the governor as it did not speak to the burning issues people in the Kavango East Region are faced with,” he said.

“Every now and then, we hear of land disputes in both Rundu and rural areas where people are grabbing land, yet there is no clear vision on what the situation is like.

“There is a high unemployment rate amongst the youth and we are not told how many jobs were created in the year under review, we are instead told about progress made on buildings that have been under construction for more than five years now.

“The Sora gave no hope to the youth in terms of job creation,” Mbangu said.



Covid-19 preparedness

Another commentator, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said despite the current status quo in the country since the coronavirus outbreak, not much was said on the region's preparedness in terms of isolation and quarantine facilities.

“If it is a Sora, it should speak to the current status quo. We are faced with an enemy which is the coronavirus, which has claimed lives in the Erongo Region, yet we as residents don't know how many quarantine and isolation facilities there are in the region. We were not even informed about the issue surrounding the coronavirus and the resumption of schools in the region,” the source said.

Attempts to contact Wakudumo were unsuccessful.



Milestones and progress

In his speech Wakudumo pointed to a number of successes and challenges.

He said the region has undergone a number of transformations relating to social structure, the economy and quality of life.

He revealed that Kavango East received an amount of N$414 120 000 during the year under review, and added that some of the progress made was on the construction of roads as well as the water and electricity reticulation system in the Ndiyona settlement, at a cost of N$17 340 193.

Wakudumo also mentioned that 146 houses were constructed by private developers.

The speech was, however, dominated by progress made on projects which are under construction.

“Construction of the abattoir at Rundu is at 80% completion and is expected to be completed by the end of this financial year,” Wakudumo said.



Challenges

Wakudumo did indicate that the region is faced with lack of focus in some ministries, inadequate maternal shelters, the absence of rural access and poor feeder roads, as well as poor to no telecommunication network coverage.

Other challenges mentioned were the lack of water pipeline schemes in the five rural constituencies, human-wildlife conflict and unemployment

He added that government is committed to addressing these challenges.

“The regional government is committed to foster and provide feeder roads and water infrastructure,” Wakudumo said.