A revamped bridge at Ngwangwa in the Kapako Constituency of Kavango West was officially inaugurated on Friday by Swapo Party Secretary General Sophia Shaningwa.
The pedestrian bridge was constructed by NorthSouth West Fishing Companyat the cost of N$361,000.
The donation comes after the media in December 2021 reported how over 2,000 Ngwangwa residents who cross it daily struggled to get to the town of Rundu for work, school, hospital and other services.
Former deputy Minister of Works and Transport James Sankwasa, through his fishing quota, is the main sponsor of the pedestrian bridge.
The bridge has been under construction since July 2022. In the same year, the Transport Minister John Mutorwa visited the bridge and said hundreds of poor families live in this sleepy informal settlement and other surrounding villages.
Sankwasa, Chairperson of NOSOWE, told The Villager, “the donation by our fishing quotas doesn’t mean we as a company received a high fish allocation quota but is based purely on our motto of ‘Sharing is Caring’. We believe that it would have been much easier and possible for NOSOWE to donate things like stationeries, or food to needy community members but that in itself would not be a lasting community development donation.”
Added Sankwasa: “We decided that despite the meagre allocation of only 200mt each shareholder company of NOSOWE Joint Venture, resulting in 1000mt for the JV Company of which 140mt is for the wet fish and 60mt is for the freezer weight, we had to make this donation irrespective.”
He said the donation amounting to N$361,068 resulted inmembers receiving a very small share from the proceeds of their quota sales.
“This donation to the community of Ngwangwa, was further based on our understanding of the principle of ‘Doing more with less’.
“Should the allocation have at least been 200mt freezer and 400mt wet fish allocation making it to 600mt allocation for each small company, forming NOSOWE, I believe NOSOWE could and can do more for the Namibian communities.”
Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Derek Klazen at the same event noted that this was done following the posts and coverage on social and conventional media that prompted him to place a call to fishing companies receiving fishing quota to respond positively to the plight of the community of Ngwangwa.
In response, NOSOWE decided to come to the rescue of the Ngwangwa community.
According to Klazen, the company “as per our records at the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources is a small company consisting of five shareholders whose combined allocation is 1000mt. The beneficiaries of the bridge are the Ngwangwa community and Rundu Town Council whose small annual budget could not assist the Council to construct the bridge.”
“I am sure that with this donation many other residents of Rundu who found it difficult to visit their relatives in Ngwangwa settlement can now easily cross the river over the bridge.”
Klazen expressed hope the bridge will contribute to the socio-economic upliftment of the community as it eases their trading and shopping or visiting the Rundu hospital when health needs arise be it at night or during the day.
“Even small livestock like sheep and goats can cross the bridge,” the minister concluded.