Nghaamwa misses N$500k hostel windfall

25 June 2019 | Education

The hospitalisation of the Ohangwena governor, Usko Nghaamwa, who has been championing the collection of funds for a hostel project at Omungwelume Senior Secondary School, did not deter donors from opening their wallets at a fundraiser.

This is the second consecutive year that Nghaamwa has fallen sick ahead of his State of the Region Address (Sora), which is scheduled for 9 July.

Omungwelume Senior Secondary School managed to raised N$509 100 in cash and 263 bags of cement on Saturday evening. These donations will complement the over 58 000 bricks that have already been delivered to the school by Nghaamwa's office.

The school, in collaboration with Nghaamwa's office, hosted a fundraising event and gala dinner at the weekend to raise money for the construction of a hostel, in an attempt to stop learners cohabiting in shacks.

This follows a Namibian Sun exposé in March in which it was alleged that some Omungwelume pupils were cohabiting like husband and wife in shacks where they are staying, because of the lack of a school hostel.

Ohangwena education director Isak Hamatwi said he is pleased with the number of people who turned up for the fundraising event on Saturday.

“I am feeling happy that everything went well and we have achieved our objective. We have gained support from the people who have the love of the Namibian children in their hearts,” said Hamatwi.

Omungwelume Senior Secondary School is a non-boarding school that hosts learners from all over the region. Learners are accommodated in shacks at the settlement.

According to school principal George Nanghanda, 581 learners from grades 10, 11 and 12 have enrolled at the school for the 2019 academic year.

Nghaamwa had earlier ordered that 118 pupils be accommodated at a rundown property bought by the Ohangwena regional council.

Ohangwena chief regional officer Fillipus Shilongo had, however, tasked Hamatwi to find suitable alternative accommodation for the learners, before they are evicted from the council property.

Shilongo said the property at Omungwelume, for which the government paid N$6 million, was not bought so it could be used as a school hostel.

Nghaamwa, through his office, used some of the money donated to his office by Fishcor to buy over 58 000 bricks to support the hostel construction.

He also donated an ox that was used to feed those who attended the gala dinner.

Concerned parents say Ohangwena is vast and the non-boarding school is taking in learners from all corners of the region - a situation that forces learners to take any available accommodation.

Grade 10 learners from as far as Okongo, Oshikunde, Epembe, Omundaungilo, Omauni, Ekoka and many other far-flung places are renting at Omungwelume to attend school there.

It was reported that Nghaamwa is hospitalised at a private hospital in Windhoek. Sources say the governor was rushed to a private hospital in Ongwediva last Friday before being airlifted to Windhoek.

Regional council chairperson Ericsson Ndawanifa said he has no further details on the matter, but added he understands that the governor is recovering well.

“All I can confirm to you us that the governor is on leave and I heard he is recovering well,” Ndawanifa said.

In 2018 Nghaamwa felt sick ahead of his Sora, which was delivered by Ndawanifa.

ILENI NANDJATO

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