NKURENKURU - A total of 14 420 children are currently receiving government social grants, while a total of 7 294 are getting a monthly old-age pension grant in Kavango West. In her state of the region address on Tuesday, regional governor Sirkka Ausiku also said a total of 116 households in the region are beneficiaries of the food bank programme. The governor was also happy to note that the functions of the gender equality, poverty eradication and social welfare ministry were decentralised to the regional council. “The region further appreciates the financial support of N$500 000 from the Office of the Prime Minister to build shelters for the San community in Nkurenkuru constituency. My office is planning to expand this project to other vulnerable members of our community and we are appealing for donations of building materials,” she said.
During the period under review, the Ministry of Gender Equality, Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare conducted a feasibility study for the construction of the Nkurenkuru Community Empowerment Centre. However, the construction was put on hold, while construction for the Mburuuru village office will start soon. “There are currently 3 886 learners registered with the Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres and 78 registered edu-carers on subsidy,” she said. The governor further announced that the Ministry of Defence and Veterans Affairs managed to accord a total of 470 residents with veteran status in the region. The ministry has also erected some 54 tombstones at various burial sites and 13 houses were built for war veterans. She also stated that the construction of a new magistrate’s court and staff accommodation at Nkurenkuru was put on hold because of budgetary constraints. Functions of the justice ministry are attended to by the magistrate’s office at Rundu at the moment. “However, the ministry earmarked to construct prefabricated courtrooms and offices during the next financial year. The region would also like to request the ministry to relook at the Liquor Act, to reconsider operation hours and stop the construction of shebeens and bars closer to schools,” she said.