New Bukalo village council eyes development

28 August 2014 | Local News

The council of the newly proclaimed village of Bukalo in the Zambezi Region is drafting plans for major developments, including housing and better municipal services. Bukalo, with a population of about 500 people, is earmarked to become the Zambezi Region’s next major business and tourism hub. Charles Siyauya, one of four Swapo members of the five-seat village council, told Namibian Sun that the plans focus on key areas such as tourism, investment opportunities, telecommunications and electricity infrastructure. Siyauya said the council’s priority at this stage is to draft a fact file about Bukalo, to get a correct estimate of the population, and define the village’s boundary lines. “Developing our town will not be an easy endeavour. “This is why we are to create a profile of the area so we are in a better position to market it well. We want Bukalo to be the next best place to dwell in or visit, when in the region,” Siyauya said. Siyauya added that although there is need to attract investors, the council will first have to establish better infrastructure such as tarred roads, health centres, a water reservoir, banks and better buildings. “There is no way that we can think of bringing in prospective investors if we do not have better facilities to enable them to conduct businesses in our town. It is based on this that we feel we need to push with infrastructure development first.” Tourist attraction Siyauya said Bukalo is strategically located near Lake Liambezi and the Salambala Conservancy. The perennial water source will be beneficial to Bukalo as tourists visiting the lake will be provided with recreational activities such as boat cruises, bird watching and angling trips. Siyauya said plans are also under way to establish a traditional museum or cultural centre, which will work hand in hand with the Masubia Traditional Authority. “The main service centre or offices to book and accommodate these tourists or day visitors will be located at Bukalo. Visitors can in fact overnight in the area because a hotel and small lodgings will be put up.” Government services Siyauya said the council will work alongside the government directorates of education, health and agriculture to establish more schools, a hospital and a produce market. “There is a need for an international private school that will be able to enrol learners from neighbouring countries. All government services are possible if land is earmarked for it.” Challenges Siyauya said there is no police station at the village and the electricity provision needs to be expanded. Another challenge is to get rid of existing illegal structures. “We need to evict, destroy or compensate those with structures that were not put up according to new council rules and regulations. This is not an easy task but we will manage to rectify it in due time.” WINDHOEK STAFF REPORTER

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