NGSIP MEDIA RELEASE
Tses Village Council in //Karas Region are upbeat about the envisaged Tses Tourist Information Centre and Campsite, funded by the Federal Republic of Germany, through the Namibian-German Special Initiative Programme (NGSIP).
The total budget for the projects was estimated at N$ 1,858,596 and were requested through the //Kharas Regional Council on behalf of the Tses community.
The project has as its main objectives; the elimination of unemployment; boosting community tourism, improving livelihood and creating employment for the community.
Tses, which is predominantly inhabited by the Nama and Orlam sub-tribes, has a rich cultural history, and nothing brings out the competitive spirit of these two communities more than the age-old Nama stap (dance) and Lang arm waltz.
Tses Village Chief Executive Officer, Silas Amulungu said he was happy that the project got off the ground as it will tap into the growing tourism market in the region.
Amulungu said he hoped that the centre would satisfy the hunger for a “real Nama cultural experience” and attract more tourist to the dusty village of Tses.
The proposed Centre, which is located along the B1 road on the way to Keetmanshoop is still under construction and upon completion will comprise of a Tourist Information Centre, a Graft centre, chalets, a museum, a traditional centre resembling a nama cultural village.
According Amulungu provisions have also been made for an internet café and recreational projects and skill training for youth.
At the same time, plans are at an advance stage to construct a Truck Port alongside the Centre which add value to the proposed Tourist Information Centre and Campsite.
"This project is different. Visitors and tourist would come here to learn about cultural practices such as Nama dancing and even be given information on medicinal plants," Amulungu said during a recent visit by the Deputy Minister of Economic Planning and National Planning Commission (NPC), Hon. Lucia Iipumbu.
The project is part of the support by the Namibian-German Special Initiative Programme (NGSIP), a multi-sectoral rural development initiative, implemented by the National Planning Commission (NPC) of the Government of the Republic of Namibia and the German Development Bank KfW.
The initiative, Amulungu said, is the beginning of an investment in a community to change and transform people's lives in a very meaningful and long-term manner. “I am sure this centre will create employment for the locals as it will have the potential to grow even bigger,” he said.
Citing the issues to be tackled, and the way forward, Amulungu said the area has experienced a significant drop in major crimes, and this must be maintained, as development such as the centre will only flourish when safety abounds. "That particular achievement is a direct result of the partnership between the community and the police," he said. "The partnership has brought a greater level of communication between both groups, and a greater level of appreciation and trust," Amulungu said.
With all the plans and funding in place for the integrated development of the community, Tses Village Council Chairperson, Hon. Diana Matheys, urged the community members not to let the moment pass them without fully owning the development.
"It is time to step up. I want Tses Town to take up this opportunity and deal with the issues of attracting tourist and potential investors," she said in an interview. The newly elected Councilor said she was thankful for the NGSIP programme to transform the community. She said that although they have been skeptical about the project they have a better understanding after the visit of the Deputy Minister.
According to Matheys, once completed, the Multi-Purpose Centre will serve as an important stop over information centre for tourist, business people and even local communities, and will increase revenue collection and even promote Tses as an attraction. She called for cooperation from the residents, "not only with the Council, and with each other, to ensure that benefits are reaped".
The Centre, which commenced in 2014, was initially deserted by the previous contractor. It will be benefitting some 1000 residents within the Tses serving communities living in the surrounding semi-desert farming hinterland. It is situated one kilometre off the main B1 highway from Windhoek to South Africa.