Speaker Prof. Peter Katjavivi during a meeting with residents of the Kavango East region
|Story by George Sanzila
Rundu - A Wide range of concerns such as the slow pace of decentralisation, lack of access to portable water, lack of care for the elderly and the non-payment of building contractors were aired during the outreach meeting with the Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Prof. Professor Peter Katjavivi in Kavango East today yesterday. Hon. Prof. Katjavivi met with the regional leadership and residents of Kavango east region as part of his oversight mandate to keep stock of development efforts in the region.
The Speaker’s outreach programme, which begun on Monday (22/05/17) in Kavango west region is centred on issues related to early child development, social welfare, education and skills development in congruence with the broader theme of “Parliament for social development” that encompasses his visits.
He noted that decentralisation has been part of robust debate for a number of years and it is about time it is fully implemented to enhance easy access to basic services. “Decentralisation is absolutely critical and has been part of the debate for a number of years. Before it is fully implemented it would also require capacity building. I hope that those responsible for it would drive the process much faster. We are going to take it up in the report that we are going to compile as part of our findings”, promised Katjavivi.
Hon. Katjavivi further noted the growing chorus of concerns related to non-payment of contractors that has resulted in a number of job losses countrywide.
He reiterated the need to improve the welfare of elderly citizens and lay a strong foundation for the education of children in the form of early childhood development centres. According to the Speaker, legal frameworks already exist for the creation of these centres awaiting only implementation. “Our elderly people have been abandoned and they need to be cared for. We need to have a volunteerism culture and start caring for our senior citizens. In terms of early childhood development centres, a law was enacted that highlights the importance of these centres that lays a firm foundation for our children. We need to ask ourselves what Kavango east has done in terms of implementation”, said Katjavivi.
It also came to light during a closed door meeting with the regional leadership that many early childhood development centres in the region lack proper infrastructure and are often run on a voluntary basis resulting in high staff turnover and affecting the learning outcome. Many people particularly in remote areas also lack portable water for their use and livestock.