Shipanga promises water for his people

Namibian Sun last month reported that traditional authorities have in recent years turned to influential figures to head villages in their jurisdictions - albeit remotely in most cases.

07 December 2021 | Local News

TUYEIMO HAIDULA







OSHAKATI

Newly installed headman of Onandjamba, Martin Shipanga started his tenure off with a bang, promising to bring water to the people come next year.

The village has been without proper water facilities since independence.

During a speech, he said he had a meeting with elders and community members in September to discuss what needs to be done to bring improvements and development to the village.

Shipanga was conferred headman status by King Fillemon Shuumbwa Nangolo, after the passing of former headman Prince Toteya Elifas, who died in in October 2019.

Namibian Sun last month reported that traditional authorities have in recent years turned to influential figures to head villages in their jurisdictions - albeit remotely in most cases.

Questions have been raised about the criteria used to select village chiefs, with some critics saying status has become the primary requirement to land such a position.

Senior traditional leader Vilho Kamanja said having a leader should make the villagers proud as there are many villages presently without leaders.

He added that present leaders cannot be bought, nor were people lining up to take over after they paid their way to the top.

"Stop spreading rumours that the king has a list of people he picks from to appoint as leaders. It is not true," he fumed.

‘Water is life’

Shipanga told the gathering that despite Namibia gaining independence a long time ago, people are still struggling to get access to basic services.

“Our people get water from wells while the water facilities are very close. Water is life and our people are competing for it with animals.

“My heart was moved to see how much our people are suffering,” he said.

Shipanga added that he spoke to the director of rural water supply in the agriculture ministry, Elijah Ngurare, who promised him that new government projects will ensure Onandjamba is included in developments.

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