Submitted by NamibianSun on 09/05/2016
The Erongo Region village of Okombahe last week welcomed the inauguration of the newly built, N$3.4 million !Oe ?Gan Cultural Village, into its midst.
Brought about through collaboration between the Namibian Government and the Namibian-German Special Initiative Programme (NGSIP), the cultural village is situated along the shores of the Omaruru River, and pays tribute to the five recognised Damara tribal authorities.
It also features an administrative office and accommodation areas (including penthouses), for leasing.
The Okombahe village is mainly inhabited by the !Oe ?Gan Traditional Community, one of these five communities.
“The impact this cultural village will have on the lives of the people of Okombahe and surrounding areas could be tremendous,” Deputy Minister of Economic and National Planning Lucia Iipumbu said at the inauguration of the site last week, in a speech read on her behalf by NGSIP Manager Matthew /Goagoseb.
“We know that without a common venue for community gatherings, group meetings, classes and other community activities, social cohesion would remain an elusive goal”, she said.
Noting that the rental costs for a commercial equivalent to the new facilities would prove prohibitive, Iipumbu urged community members to take ownership of it, and refrain from trying to damage the property.
“If you are coming to loiter or to waste time, or use this centre to settle political scores, go elsewhere.”
“The people of Okombahe must stand up for this facility. Love your community and love your cultural village”, she said.
Government and the NGSIP had started to focus on the area of Okombahe since 2009, organisers said, reporting the loss of various solar panels through theft and damage, since then.
Most recently, in 2015 the partners saw installation and upgrades to 16 water points in the area, to the tune of N$5 million.
Also represented through a stand-in was Minister of Urban and Rural Development Sophia Shaningwa, who urged members of the community to develop the new site’s potential for tourism.
“The potential for the cultural village to become an attractive hub for educational or cultural tourism cannot be over-emphasised,” Shaningwa’s special advisor, Philip Tjerije, said, thanking the Federal Republic of Germany for its involvement through the NGSIP.
Video by Namibian Broadcasting Corporation