Be Prepared this Easter

Planning is crucial to prevent vehicle accidents

Walvis Bay’s Deputy Mayor this week called upon all coastal residents to be in time to prepare for the coming Easter weekend, to prevent the incidences of motor vehicle accidents.

At the Ordinary Monthly Council meeting on Tuesday night, Councillor Penelope Martin-Louw pointed out despite safety campaigns and law enforcement drives, it seems thus if Namibia’s attempts at road safety is futile. The Deputy Mayor called upon people planning to go away over the Easter long weekend to prepare. Prepare your journey in order to plan travelling time, in order to avoid speeding. Don’t overload and check your vehicle for road-worthiness in time.
Clr Martin-Louw’s full address reads: “As the Easter weekend is approaching, we start experiencing the anxiety that usually comes with it. In this case I am not referring to the spiritual sustenance that people of the Christian faith associate with Easter. No, I am talking about our roads which are expected to be extremely busy again as many people will be travelling to be with loved ones in other parts of the country, or to break away.
ROAD SAFETY: Every now and again we take stock of the danger posed by our roads as so many road users gamble with their own and other people’s lives. The more we talk about it, launching campaign after campaign, the more futile our attempts seem to be. The number of people lo-sing their lives on our roads is frightening and totally deplorable. With the resources at their disposable, I know that our traffic and related services do everything in their everything in their power to arrest the carnage.
What we as ordinary Namibians can do is simply to obey all the rules associated with traffic safety. We are also duty bound to report violations, wherever they occur, to the authorities. Not too long ago there were reports about a serial drunk driving offender who received a prison sentence as previous fines had not served the desired purpose at all. What was just as shocking as the on-road behaviour of this motorist was the outrage by some people who felt that sending the person to prison was too harsh. What does this say about our standard of conduct towards society?
HEALTH ISSUES: By now everybody is well aware of the threat posed by the outbreak of Hepatitis E in Walvis Bay. In order to prevent the disease from wreaking havoc here, we are continuing with our awareness campaign and other interventions. These include the provision of mobile toilets in one of the more vulnerable areas.
Unfortunately, at least one media report attempted to make a mockery of our efforts and even went as far as comparing our efforts to colonial practices. This was particularly disappointing because we value the support of the media in advocating good health practices to ensure healthy communities. The good news is that the overwhelming majority of our residents appreciate and welcome our efforts in this regard. That is also why the person who was the origin of the unhelpful media reports and who tried to frustrate our efforts via social media, was ultimately reprimanded by the affected community itself.
During the series of public meetings we had on the subject of Hepatitis E, it was evident that the broader public needs to become more aware of such issues. In the meantime, we will continue with our various campaigns, including the general cleanliness of Walvis Bay. We need to make sure that we do whatever is necessary to ensure a healthy, clean town, and maybe as a bonus scoop an award or two. With the help of all our residents this is certainly possible.
BUDGET: Another series of public meetings will be taking place this coming Thursday evening at 18:00. The topic of discussion is the new capital budget for the 2019/2020 financial year.
For the past few years, more and more residents have realised the benefit of attending the budget meeting in order to be well-informed stakeholders of the brand Walvis Bay. This year should be no exception and residents can elect to attend any of the sessions at three different venues, namely the Side Hall at the Civic Centre, the Community Hall in Kuisebmond, and the Community Hall in Narraville.
These meetings also create an opportunity for residents to seek clarity on issues pertaining to capital projects. After these consultations with the public, the budget will also be presented to the Regional Council, and for final approval to the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development before 15 April.
While we are on the subject of the budget, I would like to take this opportunity to remind all municipal customers whose accounts are in arrears to take advantage of the Interest Amnesty period which is in force until the 31st of May this year.
The interest amnesty exercise is not intended to write off the capital debts of customers but merely aimed at waiving the interest accrued to such capital, provided the capital debt is settled in full within the amnesty period. Customers should therefore confirm which portion of their debt is capital and how much is interest. Customers who want to make use of the amnesty should contact Mrs Johanna Shidute or Mrs Helena Resandt at the Credit Control Section as soon as possible.
LOCAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: His Worship the Mayor, Alderman Immanuel Wilfried, has mentioned in the most recent edition of his column, Mayor’s Corner, about a number of bilateral agreements and opportunities to strengthen our relationships with other nations.
As it is certainly worth repeating, he highlighted the delegations by President Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya, Dr Andrew Young, a well-known US diplomat and businessman, as well as a visit by a delegation from the Republic of Congo.
All these delegations came with the intention to explore areas of possible partnerships in various industries in Walvis Bay. The Mayor also referred to his recent visit to Pointe-Noire in the Republic of Congo, which included Councillor Niilenge and the PR Manager. The delegation successfully signed an inter-municipal relationship agreement and now we are officially proclaimed as friendship cities. Namibia and Congo have a very long history and signing this agreement with Pointe-Noire will allow the two port cities to foster and strengthen the relationship further.
The Mayor also expressed our collective hope that through these visits and prospects of investments we will create opportunities for mutually beneficial exchanges. We look forward to the reciprocal visit by a delegation from Pointe-Noire in due course.
Fellow Councillors, Ladies and Gentlemen: We acknowledge that there will always be many challenges and perhaps even difficulties ahead, but the rewards of our collective efforts should make up for any distress along the way. As a Council we enjoy each other’s support, as well as that of the municipal employees and residents to make sure that Walvis Bay remains one of Africa’s jewels. On behalf of Council, I wish to thank everyone who is prepared to join us on this journey, and for their goodwill, which we will always value.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I thank you for your attention, and would like to re-direct your attention to the agenda for tonight’s Ordinary Council Meeting.”

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