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News Article/Announcement
N$ 350 million Etosha Park Infrastructure inaugurated
06 Nov 2014

The Millennium Challenge Account Namibia (MCA-N) has successfully completed its gigantic N$ 350 million infrastructure projects in the Etosha National Park (ENP), which included the construction of 89 staff houses at Ombika Gate and Galton Gate. 

 

The new and refurbished staff houses at Ombika, Galton and Okaukuejo were officially handed over to Environment and Tourism Minister Uahekua Herunga by MCA-N CEO Penny Akwenye on November 6, 2014.

 

The Etosha National Park investment accounted for the lion’s share of MCA-N’s tourism projects funding which totalled US$67 million (about N$700 million). Akwenye said the Etosha Infrastructure Activity did MCA-N true justice and lauded the perseverance and hard work of MCA-N staff, MET and contractors who worked on the various projects.

 

“We are celebrating this joyful event with relief because we started this sizable infrastructure activity very late in the implementation of the Compact – in fact it was the last infrastructure project to commence only in early 2013 – and MCA-N was not sure if the project was going to finish on time before the Compact closure,” she said.

 

Akwenye said that although the ENP housing development constructed under the Compact was not sufficient for all staff in the park, the underground water, sewerage and power provision made possible by MCA-N was adequate for future expansion of up to 150 houses at Ombika and Galton. Receiving the infrastructure on behalf of the Namibian government, MET Minister Herunga said it was vital for Namibia to offer infrastructure, for both tourists and park staff, that was up to acceptable standards. “The infrastructure development in the Etosha National Park are the fruits of the good cooperation between the Republic of Namibia and the United States of America,” he said.

 

Minister Uahekua Herunga and U.S. Charge d’Affaires John Kowalski cut a ribbon to officially inaugurate the Ombika Staff Village.

 

The Minister further stated that MCA-N’s infrastructure development support as well as the several grants awarded towards the Community Based Natural Resource Management demonstrated good partnership between the two governments. Herunga said apart from the housing infrastructure in the ENP, MCA-N had helped develop standard operating procedures for the management of day-to-day activities of the park, improve the park’s waste management through the implementation of a waste management strategy as well as render support to the maintenance of proper road infrastructure and networks.

 

“The MET expressed heartfelt thanks to the US government for its continued generosity and support. I am also grateful to MCC and MCA for making sure that the funding wad managed well and that projects, in particular those in tourism, were  implemented accordingly,” said the Minister. U.S. Embassy Charge d’Affaires, John Kowalski, said all park improvements made possible by MCA-N will boost tourism revenues for the park and for the surrounding communities.

 

“The great challenge will be to maintain the momentum the MET created in improving Etosha – to build more houses on the serviced plots at Ombika and Galton to make employment (of park staff) more attractive to highly qualified personnel,” said Kowalski. MCA-N has been implementing development activities in the Namibia’s education, agriculture and tourism sectors financed by the United States Government through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) worth US$ 304.5 million (N$ 3 billion) with the aim of reducing poverty through economic growth.


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