In furtherance of its goal to promote culture and sports among the disadvantaged communities in the Kunene Region, the Ministry of Economics and National Planning Commission, has handed over brand new Multi-Purpose Centres and a Sports stadium to communities in Kamanjab, Fransfontein and Bergsig in the Kunene Region. The projects, which have been implemented through the Namibia-German Special Initiative Programme (NGSIP), include the renovation of a sports stadium in Kamanjab, Multi Purpose Commercial Centres at Kamanjab, Bergsig and Fransfontein. Deputy Ministry of Economics and National Planning, Lucia Iipumbu, has encouraged the communities in these settlements, which took over the management of the brand new multi-purpose centre and renovated Sports Stadium, to ensure that the community will take ownership of the facilities. Speaking at different handing overs ceremonies Iipumbu urged the communities to own the new building so that they can feel that “we are not just a Soweto on the sea, we are also floating”.
The multi-purpose centre was built by the Housing Development Agency (HDA) with money from the Federal Republic of Germany. According to Taffy Adler, Chief Executive Officer of HDA, the centre is the first non-residential development constructed by the HDA since their core responsibility is to build low-cost housing. Sexwale supported this by saying that although “Human Settlements is where we stay, it should also be the place where we learn and where we can leisure.” This event took place barely one week after the commissioning of a similar hostel at the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital in Akwa Ibom State. In his address, the Managing Director of NDDC, Sir Barr. Bassey Dan-Abia, said that the hostel was the 6th to be inaugurated by the NDDC in the last one year pointing out that the Commission had completed and handed over similar hostels in Imo State University, Federal University of Science and Technology, Owerri, University of Benin, the Delta State University, Abraka and the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital.
He thanked the Federal Government, the oil companies and other major stakeholders for their contributions towards the successful completion of the projects noting that more hostels would soon be completed and handed over.
Performing the handover ceremony, the Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, said that the state-of-the-art hostel will increase students’ access to decent accommodation in the university and help to ease over-crowding of existing hostels in the university. Dr Ikpeazu further remarked that the 630 students who will reside in the new hostel should count themselves lucky because the hostel will guarantee their safety, especially at this time when security was becoming a major problem in university communities. “I urge the NDDC to continue to execute more projects for the people of the state. We have started the journey of development, we will not look back,” the governor said.
The Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof Hilary Edeoga, who was represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Prof Dominic Okpara, said that the handover of the hostel could not have come at a better time as the university was facing serious accommodation problems. He said: “This will certainly reduce the pressure we are having in the area of providing accommodation for our students. I commend the NDDC for coming to the aid of the university by building and furnishing this hall of residence. This gesture will help to boost the academic performance of our students.”
The NGSIP, which was to end this year will also continue until end of the 2016. The special initiative was conceptualized by the Namibian Government and headed by the Namibian Planning Commission (NPC) to improve economic standards of communities that had suffered during the German colonial period.