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Uibis community requires basic services

Minister Kaapanda doing the traditional Nama stap with Member of Parliament, Hon. Lucia Witbooi

Minister Kaapanda doing the traditional Nama stap with Member of Parliament, Hon. Lucia Witbooi

According to Chapter 3, Article 10 of the Constitution of the Republic of Namibia, all persons shall be equal before the law. This is one of the Fundamental Human Rights that all Namibian citizens should enjoy. However, this is not the case for many communities in rural areas across the country.
One such community is Uibis, a settlement situated in the Daweb District of Maltahohe in the Hardap Region. This small community of about 200 inhabitants was recently proclaimed as a new constituency and will soon be proclaimed as a settlement after the upcoming elections.
The proclamation comes with many changes, including a new leadership and with these changes, the community of Uibis is eager to receive many privileges they previously did not enjoy. “We are in need of basic services such as rural electrification, network coverage as well as portable water and proper sanitation,” said Petrus Taseb, a representative of the Uibis Traditional Authority. “Just look around you, you will not even spot a single car in sight, we only receive transport here in case of a death. We can’t even call the police to assist us when we need them because the network coverage in Uibis is very bad,” Taseb added.

Speaking through an interpreter, Taseb said that the community is in dire need of a district clinic as well as a satellite police station.
“We have a primary school but need more classrooms to be built to accommodate all learners. Once in a while we receive medication from the Ministry of Health and Social Services in Mariental but have to travel long distances by foot to seek medical help as the nearby clinic is in Maltahohe,” He added that because of lack of transport, many elders and children find it hard to receive medical assistance.
Taseb said the Uibis community has since given their request to the Hardap Regional Council and further aired their grievances to the Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Hon. Joel Kaapanda who visited the community to commemorate Cassinga Day on 3 May 2014 as well as acquaint himself with the new constituency.
During his visit, Minister Kaapanda was addressed by the Daweb District Coordinator, Hans Joseph who read out the Acknowledgement of the Uibis community to the Minister.
 “This is the first time since Namibia’s Independence, a high government official has visited Uibis and we are very grateful for the Honourable Minister to grace us with his presence.
All these issues we have addressed here need special attention from all the relevant authorities and we believe Hon. Minister will assist us in this matter,” said Joseph on behalf of the Uibis community.
In his address to the Uibis community, Hon. Minister Joel Kapaanda thanked the community for receiving him, saying that it is a basic human right for the community to demand for such services.
 “In any constituency, a conducive environment must prevail where the mentioned services must be provided. The process to bring these services to you is in the pipeline and considerations will be made accordingly,” said Hon. Kaapanda adding that although service delivery to Uibis will arrive, it is a process and will not reach the community overnight.
In response to the poor network coverage, which he said his ministry is responsible for providing, Kaapanda said that he will take up this issue and assured that network will reach Uibis community.
 “You cannot remain cut off from the rest of the country, you must be connected in order to be part and parcel of the communication process.”
He said through the Mass Housing project, the community of Uibis will not be excluded.
“Government cares about your well-being and as a result, this (Uibis) constituency was created in order to facilitate services brought closer to the community, even if you are a small community, you are just as important and deserve better.
All deserve all these services so you don’t need to demand for them because you are entitled to these services, it is a basic human right to have these services,” Kaapanda informed the Uibis community.
Kaapanda however cautioned the community not to engage in alcohol abuse and commended them for not having a single shebeen in the area.
“The problem we have in this country is the misuse and abuse of alcohol, we are losing intelligent people because of alcohol, am very happy to note that Uibis is leading as an example of an alcohol free community,” Kaapanda said. The Minister also urged the youth of Uibis to continue preserving their culture saying that they are the inspiration of the community. “Culture is very important, we draw strength and morale from culture, so I encourage the young ones to continue with the cultural performances,” he said.

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