New Otjozondjupa governor reveals plans
Newly appointed Otjozondjupa governer James Uerika outlines his plans for his region, aiming to take it to greater heights.
15 May 2020 | Local News
As newly appointed Otjozondjupa governor James Uerikua (JU) celebrates one month in office, Namibian Sun journalist Jemima Beukes (JB) sat down with him to hear how he plans to develop and uplift the people of his region.
JB: What is your vision for the region?
JU: I envisage a self-reliant and self-sustaining region for the inhabitants in terms of food production, youth employment creation and the participation of all our people in the economic activities of the region.
But most importantly, I strive for unity of purpose and a coordinated approach.
This vision serves as the blueprint of the regional development agenda, which will be unveiled in due course.
JB: What are your primary, secondary and long-term projects for the region?
JU: Since taking over office as governor a month ago, I have put in place developmental priorities which include, but are not limited to, the rallying of all Otjozondjupa inhabitants under one common agenda of working towards a united and prosperous region.
I plan to undertake consultation visits to all constituencies to assess the state of affairs and establish their living conditions and also to mobilise government institutions to be in line with the priorities of development and upliftment of the communities here.
I am especially committed to work towards the development and implementation of a harmonised Youth Growth and Development Plan, which will go a long way to build trust and confidence.
JB: What will you do to stem the rising occurrences of gender-based violence (GBV) incidences in your region?
JU: I strongly discourage tribalism, racism, sexism and stigmatisation based on socio-economic standing. I aim to ensure the intensification of the fight against GBV at all levels to make categorically clear that no Namibian is left out of the developmental agenda and special focus is given to the marginalised, vulnerable members of our society as well persons with disability.
JB: What is the regional response to the coronavirus? How many people have been tested?
The region has set up a regional Covid-19 response and preparedness committee supported by six subcommittees consisting of the various stakeholders. The committee is chaired by the chairperson of the Otjozondjupa regional council, Steve Biko Booys.
It is pivotal to note that the ministry of health has taken centre stage in the fight against Covid-19. For this reason, the region has been divided into five health districts for the effective implementation of the set counter measures. These are Okahandja, Okakarara, Otjiwarongo, Tsumkwe and Grootfontein.
The committee has set up isolation facilities and accommodation for medical personal dealing directly with the fight against Covid-19.
To date, a total of 190 people have been tested for the virus in the region, of which 127 tested negative, while 63 results are still pending.
We salute these men and women on the frontline against this giant haunting us as a nation and in these uncertain times.
We commend them for their selflessness and sacrifice.
JB: Have operations at all open markets resumed?
JU: The local authorities have identified designated areas and placed precautionary measures to open markets in adherence to stage two of the state of emergency regulations.
Okahandja, Otjiwarongo and Grootfontein have already reopened the markets, while Otavi and Tsumkwe are in the advanced stages of resuming operations.
JB: What is the plan around street vendors?
JU: All streets vendors are only to trade from identified designated trading areas as indicated and directed by the local authorities.
JB: How many in the region received the emergency grant?
JU: A total of 23 307 inhabitants of Otjozondjupa region received the Emergency Income Grant (EIG) introduced by the central government through the ministry of finance
The role of the regional government in this regard bordered around the verification of those applicants who were rejected during the first round of payments.
To this end, the office of the governor with the Otjozondjupa regional council executed a verification exercise throughout the region.
The final list has been submitted to the finance ministry for consideration and action thereof.