The central location of Otjiwarongo as a gateway to the far north, north –east and coastal areas, makes it a favorable place for economic and social development. As the capital of Otjozondjupa Region, the area is the economic hub for most surrounding towns in terms of quality –of-life service provision such as banking, shops, medical facilities and government ministries.
In order to maximize resources, the Municipality of Otjiwarongo has also intensified public private partnerships with Government and other stakeholders. This is aimed at addressing pertinent social basis and needs of the town’s inhabitants. The town has a population of about 40.00 of which the informal settlement has a population of about 12 900, which translate to 38% of the total population of the town, where most are unemployed or low income earners.
Provision of water to the informal settlements:
Provision of accessible water to residents of the Informal Settlement is one of the major objectives of Council. Water as a basic service is a must for residents of the town, Currently the Municipality has embarked upon a process to upgrade water infrastructure in the Informal settlement and formal areas by increasing the number of water connections, installation of pre-paid systems as well as possibility of individual water connections for the Informal Settlement. The residents have already been consulted and are also in favor of individual household water connections.
With the assistance of the Ministry of Regional Local Government, Housing and Rural Development’s Informal Settlements Sub – Programme of the Build Together Programe funding amounting to 1.5 Million was given for water infrastructure development in the Informal settlement for this financial year. The funds will be used towards reticulation of the 25 kilometer Main water Branch at a cost of 1,2 Million. The sewerage gratification to accommodate the capacity of sewer due to formalization of certain areas of the Informal Settlement areas will also be funded by the Municipality at a cost N$4 million. The entire project I expected is expected to be finished during this financial year. Currently the informal settlements residents use communal stand – pipe water connections.
Clay House Project:
Other Public –Private partnerships include the one with the Clay house Project that aims at providing low cost housing and sanitation needs. A joint proposal between the Municipality of Otjiwarongo and Clay House Project that yielded funding of N$ 3million and will cater towards the building of 100 houses (formal area) and 25 quick –shelters being constructed. The Clay House Project through its oartners will contribute about N$ 5,3 Million towards the project.
Meanwhile the Municipality Otjiwarongo, being in charge of local governance, has a mammoth task when it comes to Economic Development and creating an investor friendly environment. In accordance with its Vision and Mission that focus on creating an economic powerhouse through cooperative governance and equity. The Municipality looks upon all stakeholders-residents, business, investors and potential investors to actively participate in efforts aimed at realizing these goals.
Otjiwarongo has an economic development program aimed at attracting more investments at the town. To support this innitiaitive, the Local Authority Council of Otjiwarongo has embarked upon an investor-friendly environment to promote multi –sectoral economic participation through the establishment of community /sectoral committees on various focal areas such as Mining, Economic development, SME’s Tourism, Markets, Agriculture, Businesses etc. These committees consist of members of local public.