Rural areas to be electrified by 2017 – Pohamba
All schools, clinics, market places, churches and households within an identified radius in the rural areas will be electrified within the next five years as part of government’s five-year Rural Electrification Distribution Master Plan which was launched last month, President Hifikepunye Pohamba has said.
The Ministry of Mines and Energy will work closely together with Regional Councils and Local Authorities in order to identify priority areas that require urgent attention.
In his State of the Nation Address on Wednesday, President Pohamba said that the majority of the people live in the rural and peri-urban areas, where the provision of public services and social amenities such as potable water, electricity, housing and sanitation remain inadequate.
“We need to do more in order to expand physical and communication infrastructure such as roads in those areas. This is a very important and urgent imperative,” he said.
To address the challenges of the people living in the rural and peri-urban areas, government, said Pohamba has designed specific interventions and allocated resources to improve social and economic development with the aim to turn its plans into practical actions in order to make a difference.
Last year, Parliament approved the Local and Regional Economic Development White Paper. The document outlines a strategy for boosting economic development activities by local authorities and regional councils. In this vein, government has allocated N$402 million in subsidies to local authorities in the current financial year
“ This is part of the on-going anti-poverty and rural development measures that are aimed at improving the living conditions of our people. Other measures include the provision of potable water, housing, land, agricultural extension services and social support to the elderly, people with disabilities and the veterans of the armed liberation struggle,” the president added.
Pohamba said government needs to expedite the land acquisition programme in order to resettle more people. “This must be accompanied by support measures to help resettled farmers to become productive. Similarly, we must expand the reach of agricultural extension services in order to improve the productivity of subsistence farmers.”