Putting Kalkfeld on the map

26 May 2017 | Local News

The chairperson of the Otjozondjupa regional council, Julius Neumbo, has told Namibian Sun that re-establishing the viability and vitality of the Kalkfeld settlement is a top priority for him.

Neumbo, who took up the position at the start of 2016, last week presented a long list of events and activities he has coordinated and managed in order to improve the town's social and economic status.

Among these initiatives were a mass clean-up and the installation of flush toilets to replace the old bucket toilet system, numerous personal interventions and identifying ways to promote the town.

Among other things, he has arranged for the settlement to host major national events, including Independence Day and Heroes' Day celebrations.

Neumbo said hosting these events at the settlement was inspired by the desire to “put Kalkfeld on the map” and to cast a spotlight on the town's woes and potential.

He told Namibian Sun that the settlement was close to his heart and that “every time I meet with people I bring up Kalkfeld”.

He described the town as a “ghost town” that many have forgotten about and said although the progress was slow, he was hopeful that these efforts would eventually pay off.

One of the initiatives he highlighted is a campaign to install flush toilets to replace the unhygienic bucket system.

Since late last year, 50 flush toilets have been installed, and another 50 are currently being installed.

“This is something I am fighting for,” he vowed.

Many of the activities were based on personal interventions and negotiations with donors to assist in a myriad of ways to assist and promote the town, he said.

Neumbo said he was eager, in all his dealings with politicians, businessmen or others, to “expose the town and to tell others that Kalkfeld does exist in Namibia” in order to ensure investment and development opportunities.

He said he was aware that the inability to purchase property at the settlement was problematic, but emphasised that the only way to tackle the issue was to boost in the local economy in order to upgrade the settlement's status.

In line with this, over the past year and a half as chairperson, he has personally reached out to local businesses in the Otjozondjupa region, not only to motivate their opening of local branches at Kalkfeld, but also to remind them of the availability of willing and able men and women who seek employment.

He said a wholesale change of direction and upliftment of the town wouldn't be easy and much remained to be done.

Neumbo said his priority focus areas were the impact of free-roaming livestock, skills development, water supply and quality, health and sanitation, employment and investment.

“I don't believe in sitting around and waiting for something to happen,” said Neumbo, a former teacher and school principal.


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