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Government is not a money tree

Government is not a money tree

Maria David

THE Parliamentary Standing Committee on Habitat has expressed concern about the costing of a project where a water booster pump station is being constructed between Ombonde and Omapale has gone far beyond budget and expected completion time.

 

This follows after a tender to the tune of N$23 millions was awarded to Tweya Consulting Engineers. The tender was granted by the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) and the committee is asking for clarification on certain aspects of the project.

 

Chairperson of Standing Committee on Habitat, Cletius Sipapela, addressed the members of the Oshana Regional Council during a meeting. He said the government is concerned about the asking price of the project.

 

Sipapela indicated that the government wants reasonable costing for development projects because it has become a habit to charge exorbitant fees from the state to make more profit.

 

 

He was not happy with figures given to him by the respondents as they were contradicting each other.

 

“I am not happy at all. The figures is not right and is contradicting each other,” he said.

 

During the same meeting, Sipapela requested for the demolishing of the guardhouse at the pump station because it is not fit for human occupation. He said the guardhouse resembles a prison.

 

“If there is money left, demolish the guardhouse, anybody who is allowed to stay there can easily suffocate in those inhuman conditions,” he said.
Sipapela added that the guardhouse should also not be built behind, but should be built in front of the pump station.

 

However, the Oshana Chief Regional Officer, Martin Elago, tried to defend the construction of guardhouse, saying that provision of building a guardhouse was only made after the regional governor insisted to have something like that at the site.

 

Opuwo Urban constituency Councillor Weigh Mupya, also quoted the same sentiments with Sipapela.

 

Mupya said many contractors view government contracts as money making or a get rich quick schemes instead of installing services for communities.

 

“The land provided is for free, how did you reach the price of N$23 million? Why is there only about N$2 million left in the fund?” he asked, adding that six more booster pumps could have been built in other parts of Namibia if the need arose.

 

The construction of the booster pump station between Ombonde and Omapale is expected to be completed by September, following an extension of the usual three months period that the project was supposed to be completed.

 

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