Oshana poverty levels rise as population increases

The gradual population increase in the Oshana region has caused rising poverty levels, as young people roam the streets due to unemployment.

During the 2011 national census, the region’s population was recorded at 176 674, while the 2023 national census showed an increase to 230 801.

Oshana regional council chairperson Andreas Utoni told The Namibian on Monday the poverty level index of the region is too high.

He said the regional leadership plans to address poverty by creating more youth employment schemes and training courses.

“We are going to battle a number of challenges such as high youth unemployment and infrastructure development. We want to divide some constituencies that are big into two constituencies, especially the Ongwediva constituency, which is too big to cater for. This is to allow the regional leadership to deliver efficient services to the people.

“We also want to increase infrastructure development in the region because the Oshana region is one of the regions that are lacking behind in terms of feeder roads connecting to schools and clinics. We will make sure that we have proper road infrastructure connecting to institutions of higher learning as well,” said Utoni.

He added that the regional leadership is working hard to ensure proper water infrastructure and that every household has access to potable water.

“We want to create more green schemes for the youth in the Oshana region because we want them to venture into agriculture and be able to produce their own food. Our focus will be more on youth development because we are aiming to construct more youth centres and soccer stadiums in an effort to keep them busy and avoid engaging in criminal activities and all other bad habits that might hinder their progress,” he said.

Utoni further added that the population increase will boost the economy of the region and attract possible investors.

“We are happy that the population of the region has increased because this will help us to plan better and focus on our priorities. We will make sure that we boost our service delivery and development in the region. We want to see to it that all the population groups in the region have access to services and address the high youth unemployment,” he said.

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