Residents of Nxaunxau Village in the Okavango Sub-District have called on government to include the village under the Remote Area Development Programme (RADP), citing challenges they face in accessing services in Shakawe, which is more than 120 kilometres away.
The Village Development Committee (VDC) Chairperson Makena Mbambo confirmed to this publication that communities that make up the village being Basarwa, Bambukushu and Baherero have requested to be included in RADP arguing that they are situated in a remote area hence there is need for them to be provided with poverty alleviating programmes that will help them better their lives.
She highlighted that for their survival they have to travel long distances to Shakawe on regular basis to acquire necessary services such as shopping among others. For worse, Mbambo lamented that they are forced to travel in poor gravel roads with dangerous wild animals.
“We are in a rural area which has no electricity, internet and most of the people living here are less educated and poor because they cannot afford to go to cities and towns to access education and look for jobs,” she lamented.
According to her, it’s been almost 10 years now since they made a call to be included in the programme and they have already engaged the district Commissioners’ office, Council Chairpersons and their area Member of Parliament but their plea remain unsuccessful.
As a way forward, she revealed they have since decided to appeal in writing to the minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Kgotla Autlwetse.
Councilor for Gani/Nxauxau, Kandondi Shakatenya confirmed that indeed the communities of Nxauxau want to be included under the RADP, adding that he has also previously advocated for the matter during council meetings. The councilor noted that Nxauxau has more than 500 people, with no roads and electricity and few government offices therefore the request by the community is substantial.
For his part, Okavango Sub-Council Chairperson, Lesedi Boy acknowledged that indeed Nxauxau need to be considered for inclusion under the RADP because of its distance from service centre. He further acknowledged that the village is of no difference to Xaixai and Qangwa which are part of RADP.
Boy revealed that their plan as council is to help the residents in terms of advocating on their behalf to the relevant ministry noting that they are half way regarding the matter as they continue to do all possible to help the village.