By Confidente Reporter
YOUNG people at the sleepy mining village of Uis now have a permanent, modern facility where they can obtain information, get fit and become involved in programmes and activities that can shape their lives and brighten their future.
This follows the official opening of the village’s Multi-Purpose Youth Centre, which was funded by the Namibian-German Special Initiative Programme (NGSIP). The initiative resorts under the National Planning Commission (NPC).
The centre aims to provide access to information for thousands of young people at the village and the adjoining areas of the Erongo.
It has a gym, a conference hall, a storeroom, an administration office, two self-catering rooms, a computer laboratory, and netball and volleyball courts.
Deputy Minister of Economic Planning and the NPC, Lucia Iipumbu, who delivered a keynote address at a ceremony to mark the official opening of the facility last week, said the centre had finally been completed, despite the many challenges and delays it faced.
Iipumbu said that the previous contractor, who had started construction in 2013, had abandoned the project last year, causing the delays.
The deputy minister, however, expressed satisfaction with the new contractor, who had completed the project.
“We know this was a long journey from 2011 to 2017, but at the end of the day we have achieved our goal of putting up a Multi-Purpose Community Youth Centre at Uis,” she said.
She added that government wants to support local contractors to the fullest, but also used the opportunity to advise them to take their work seriously, if they wanted to be empowered through State tenders.
She said contractors, who are mostly small and medium enterprises (SME), sometimes complain that government work was being given to bigger companies, yet when they receive such work, they often deliver sub-standard products or simply abandoned the projects altogether.
“It is always pleasing that a local contractor has been awarded the work. However, it is disheartening to hear that they have abandoned the project and cannot perform to the expected standards,” she said.
“Yes, our government wants to empower local contractors, so that they grow and also deliver quality services to our people.”
“However, as much as government is willing to help them grow, local contractors are the ones who let government down. When they get the money, they buy expensive cars and forget their responsibilities to complete the projects for the communities.”
“It is well-known that the government is committed to the development of children and youth in Namibia, so that they can be employed and thereby develop. The centre will therefore cater for the needs of the youth in Uis,” she added.
Erongo Regional Governor, Cleophas Matjavikua, said in a statement read on his behalf by Daures Constituency Councillor, Joram Kennedy !Haoseb that the opening of the multi-purpose centre gives hope for the future, as the residents will directly or indirectly benefit from it.
He said that due to the recent drought situation, residents in the Erongo region were finding it difficult to make ends meet, and that this has been compounded by the closure of a number of fishing and mining companies, which has also adversely affected the regional economy.
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