GOBABIS, 14 JUN – The Chairperson of the Omaheke Regional Council has said the council will continue investing in the quality of life of its constituents by improving service delivery.
Ignatius Kariseb, who was on Wednesday re-elected to serve another two-and-a-half years in the position, made the remarks in his acceptance speech.
He said fighting social ills and diseases will also be high on the agenda of the council, noting that the HIV pandemic remains a challenge in the region.
Kariseb said although Omaheke has one of the lowest HIV prevalence rates in the country, currently standing at 10 per cent, there is a need for aggressive measures in “getting to zero” – zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero Aids-related deaths.
He stated that the council will, therefore, continue investing in preventing the spread of the virus, mitigating its impact and treating, caring for and providing support to the affected populations.
“Our focus is to support nutritional and livelihood projects that can ensure food security for those infected and affected by the pandemic,” he said.
The chairperson noted that unemployment, crime, alcohol abuse, lack of proper shelter, land delivery, water shortage and drug abuse still remain major stumbling blocks to development in Omaheke.
To further enhance the quality of life of its people, Kariseb said the regional council will continue implementing a number of rural development programmes.
Such programmes include the Micro Finance Scheme, Food/Cash for Work Programme, Regional Food Action Plan, Rural Employment Scheme and support to poor farmers, amongst others.
The chairperson applauded development partners for their continuous investment. One such partner is the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, which he thanked for the construction of classrooms and teachers’ accommodation in the region.
The Ministry of Health and Social Services and their development partners also got a pat on the back for their continuous implementation of projects such as the renovation and construction of health facilities across the region.
“These are but some of the undertakings the regional council and some of its partners have made in the quest to advance regional development,” he said.
Kariseb however said limited budgets, frail capacity of contractors for capital projects, geographical impediments such as the vastness of the region, the sparse population and growing demand for services, hamper the pace at which services are delivered to the people.