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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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    Northern aquifer probe raises stakesNorthern aquifer probe raises stakes The latest information available on the Ohangwena aquifer known as KOH II, shows that it holds four times the amount of water than was originally estimated and that it is twice as large.

    New evidence presented on the aquifer yesterday indicates that it can hold 20 billion cubic metres of water while in 2013 it was estimated to hold five billion cubic metres.

    The aquifer covers 5 170 square kilometres while 2013 parameters indicated it was roughly 2 500 square kilometres big.

    Bertman Swartz, the deputy director of geology at the agriculture ministry, presented the new evidence that has been found with core drilling on the Cubango megafan. The new knowledge on the aquifer was discovered when geologists from Germany and Namibia cut a continuous core in the centre of a huge sedimentary fan known as the Cubango megafan which comprises a former gigantic river delta in the north of Namibia.

    A megafan, simply put, is a large base of sediment deposited by a flowing river than fans out from a mountainous area.

    According to Swartz a core borehole was drilled to a depth of 400m.

    “The cores obtained from this drilling were the basis for a detailed lithological (rock) description and the analysis of the sediment of the aquifer.”

    Swartz said that is now known that the actual recharge of the aquifer is 635 000 cubic metres, while this was previously not known. This figure was estimated for the 2011/2012 season, one of the best in recent memory.

    Furthermore the average depth of the aquifer has been identified at 235 metres, while it was previously thought to be a little deeper at 250 metres.

    For every metre the water level in the borehole dropped, yields were between 0.28 and 5.29 cubic metres per hour. The average was calculated at 1.4 cubic metres per hour.

    “We were able to answer a lot of unanswered questions about the aquifer,” he said.

    Elaborating further on the groundwater project in northern Namibia and the drilling at the Cubango megafan, Swartz went into the background and objectives of the projects.

    He said access to safe, fresh water is the main limiting factor for the economic and social development of Namibia.

    “Surface water is mainly restricted to four perennial rivers at the northern and southern borders, and damming of ephemeral rivers inland. Therefore groundwater, as in many arid countries, plays a vital role for the supply of wide areas in Namibia.”

    According to him most of the population in the central northern areas of Namibia, and of the Cuvelai Etosha Basin, is currently supplied with drinking water by a pipeline system conveying water into the basin from the Kunene River, via the Calueque Dam in Angola. Swartz said intermittent droughts and floods and population growth has led to an increasing demand and has increased pressure on the existing water resources.

    Between 2007 and 2014 the project identified and delineated a vast multi-layered groundwater system, the Ohangwena Groundwater System (OGS), with its main aquifers KOH I (Kalahari Ohangwena I) and KOH II (Kalahari Ohangwena II) .

    “The Ohagwena Groundwater System is a high-yield aquifer system with a significant volume of stored potable water,” said Swartz.

    He said as part of the technical cooperation between Namibia and Germany, the German government provided financial and technical support to the project, which started in 2014 as a follow-up to the project that ran from 2007 to 2014.

    The target was to provide fundamental information on the groundwater potential, protection and sustainable utilisation of the Ohangwena Aquifer System to Namibian decision-makers and especially to the department for water and forestry.

    “For a full understanding of the aquifer system, it was essential that the properties of these aquifers and aquitards (a bed of low permeability which runs along an aquifer) were well understood, thus good drilling and coring of the system was proposed.”

    These results enable a detailed conceptual model of the aquifer system to be developed and to support the development of a numerical groundwater model to calculate scenarios of future water supply.

    He also explained that the main goal of the project is to provide fundamental information on the groundwater potential, protection and sustainable utilisation of the Ohangwena Groundwater System (OGS).

    It also aims to determine the potential of the Ohangwena Aquifer System and to provide information on the effect of water supply scenarios from that resource.

    The groundwater monitoring network in the region permits immediate assessment of the aquifer's status under production conditions.

    Swartz concluded that groundwater can be considered as a secure back-up supply option for the region if developed accordingly.

    He added that the protection and sustainable use of the resource requires careful monitoring and very close cooperation with all stakeholders.

    “A trans-boundary approach is the best way towards sustainability.”

    A sound legal framework must also be in place along with joint efforts of all stakeholders to protect the resource.

    Agriculture deputy permanent secretary Abraham Nehemia added the aquifer is a valuable resource to the Namibian people, as it ensures water security for the people, withstanding its proper management.

    Hydro-geologists will now be able to draw conclusions about production capacity of the aquifer, as we proceed into the utilization of this very important resource, Nehemia said.


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  • 08/07/18--16:00: No donkey abattoirs in Nam
  • No donkey abattoirs in NamNo donkey abattoirs in NamEnvironment ministry stops Okahandja abattoir The environment ministry has rejected an application for the establishment of a donkey abattoir at Okahandja. Plans for a donkey abattoir at Okahandja with a slaughter rate of 100 animals a day were quashed after the environment ministry rejected an environmental clearance application, citing concerns for the species' survival if exposed to commercial slaughter.

    This follows the cancellation in February of a planned donkey abattoir at Outjo, where around 70 donkeys were planned to be killed each day. That project folded after a study indicated a high risk that Namibia's donkey population could be obliterated at the proposed off-take rates.

    Following a review of the proposed Okahandja abattoir, the ministry of environment and tourism in April informed Agrinature Investment and Trade that that commercial slaughter of donkeys would result in significant risks to the species' ecological existence and socio-economic value.

    The ministry said the review uncovered “numerous uncertainties relating to the species' existence, which in turn limits the proposed project's sustainability.”

    The ministry's concerns are similar to findings from a scoping study undertaken by Quivertree Consulting last year on behalf of Fu Hai Trading Enterprises, the company that had planned to start a donkey abattoir at Outjo.

    That study found that “the resource is limited and there is no accurate census data or research on their natural breeding rates and population changes. This indicates a risk that the project could lead to the unsustainable off-take of donkeys, which would decimate the natural population,” Quivertree Consulting's Svenja Garrard informed the public in February.

    Wiping out the species would in turn have a “detrimental impact on the livelihoods of poor communities, in particular those of women and children,” Quivertree Consulting found.

    Quivertree Consulting concluded “that it would be negligent to recommend that the project receive approval until more accurate data had been obtained.”

    Alex Mayers of the Donkey Sanctuary in the United Kingdom, who visited Namibia last year to warn against the risks of the donkey skin trade, yesterday told Namibian Sun that the ministry should be applauded for its “responsible, evidence-based and professional response to the issue, and for resolutely closing the door to this trade before any damage is done.”

    He added that the Donkey Sanctuary had seen “the horrendous effects of the donkey skin trade, including issues of animal welfare, livelihoods, pollution, biosecurity, unsustainable utilisation, thefts, high water use and links to illegal wildlife crime, and we were gravely concerned that Namibia would face the same issues.”

    Data first

    In February, Quivertree Consulting issued a list of recommendations that could address concerns around the trade in Namibia.

    They emphasised the need for an independent donkey census before commercial slaughter was allowed.

    Secondly, research should be conducted into prices to incentivise the breeding of donkeys for slaughter.

    Lastly, the data from these studies should be used to determine whether the socio-economic risks could be mitigated.

    It was also proposed that the government should consider issuing an annual quota similar to the fishing industry.

    New ivory

    News about the planned donkey abattoirs last year created widespread debate on the issue and intensified focus on the high demand for donkey skins in China, which has led to a thriving donkey skin market.

    Some have warned that “donkey skins are the new ivory”.

    Donkey skins are processed in China to produce 'ejiao', which is used as a traditional medicine. The meat is also considered a delicacy.

    Critics of the trade have warned that due to low availability of donkeys in China, demand has fuelled international trade, and in turn, a thriving black market.

    The global trade has raised serious concerns about donkey welfare and the livelihood of rural communities.

    Namibian Sun was informed that no other donkey abattoir proposals have been submitted.


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    Golden six months for OtjikotoGolden six months for Otjikoto B2Gold Corp’s Otjikoto Mine produced 80 177 ounces of gold in the first six months of this year, 3% above budget.
    “The Otjikoto Mine in Namibia built on its strong first quarter performance with a similarly successful second quarter, producing 40 678 ounces of gold, approximately in-line with budget and comparable with the first quarter of 2017,” B2Gold said in its latest financial results.
    For full-year 2018, the Otjikoto Mine is expected to produce between 160 000 and 170 000 ounces of gold.
    B2Gold Corp, the majority shareholder in Otjikoto, is listed on the Overall Index of the Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX). It closed at N$32.93 on Tuesday.
    Read the full report tomorrow in Market Watch.

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    British business helping women prisonersBritish business helping women prisonersRebuilding lives Less than one in 10 women prisoners have a job to go to on release. It's not just about the money, it's self-worth, it's your confidence, it's getting you back to where you need to be- Rita, ex-convict As Rita neared the end of a 10-year jail sentence for money laundering, her first thought was getting back her four children - and finding a way to support them.

    Enter Shine, an innovative business in northern England that provides job opportunities for female offenders, starting while they are still serving their sentences.

    "I needed an income to be able to provide them with a home, but also for my own emotional stability. While I was serving my sentence I couldn't see how I was going to do that," said Rita, not her real name.

    During the last 18 months of her sentence Rita, 49, worked part time at Shine, a social enterprise - or business with a mission to do good as well as making a profit - that provides space for corporate events and organises outside catering.

    By the time she was released, she had saved enough for a deposit on a rented property and, because she was in regular employment, was able to care for her children.

    Creating opportunities

    Dawn O'Keefe started Shine a decade ago, seeing it as an opportunity "to do something that would make a difference" after a successful corporate career in the United States.

    The business, based in a former school building in a deprived area of the city of Leeds, now has a yearly turnover of 800 000 pounds (US$1.05 million) from catering and hiring space for conferences and other events.

    It takes women on while they are still serving their sentences, giving them the chance to try out in sales, receptionist and food delivery roles, which are initially voluntary but can lead to paid employment.

    "Shine is a business that creates a revenue to allow us to... create opportunities for those that don't normally get them," O'Keefe told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

    Fewer than one in 10 women prisoners have a job to go to on release, according to the Prison Reform Trust, a charity that campaigns for a just penal system in Britain.

    Jenny Earle, who heads the Trust's programme to reduce women's imprisonment, said children whose mothers went to jail often went to live with relatives, moving home and school. In some cases children end up in care.

    She said jobs were "absolutely fundamental" to women making a fresh start because they help "build confidence and self esteem as well as providing you with a means to support your children."

    More than 17 000 children are separated from their jailed mothers each year, according to Howard League for Penal Reform, a charity, and research shows they are twice as likely to suffer poor mental health.

    Shine is one of a number of social enterprises in Britain that provide job opportunities to prisoners, from The Clink, a working restaurant inside a prison, to The Good Loaf, which trains women to be bakers.

    Britain is seen as a global leader in the innovative social enterprise sector, with about 70 000 businesses employing nearly 1 million people last year, according to membership body Social Enterprise UK, up from 55 000 businesses in 2007.


    O'Keefe said the company had to take potential risks to staff and clients into account when hiring, while staff having to be back in the prison at strict times could be challenging.

    "Other members of the team who join Shine buy into what we do," she said. "Everyone understands very clearly the link between excellent service and ongoing opportunities for staff."

    Mostly though, O'Keefe sees employing female prisoners as a commercial advantage because they are so determined to succeed in their jobs.

    For Rita, having a job was an opportunity to take control of her life after having to give up her independence in prison.

    She started off serving tea and coffee and is now operations manager - a job that allows her to provide work opportunities to women in the same situation she once found herself in.

    "It's not just about the money, it's self-worth, it's your confidence, it's getting you back to where you need to be," said Rita.

    "I dread to think where everybody would be if I didn't do the simple things like getting a home and keeping everyone together."

    -Nampa/Thomson Reuters Foundation

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    Regulators prohibit Murray & Roberts from seeking Aveng tie-upRegulators prohibit Murray & Roberts from seeking Aveng tie-up South Africa’s Murray & Roberts said on Thursday regulators have prohibited the construction firm from seeking a merger with rival Aveng Ltd.

    In June the Takeover Regulation Panel (TRP) approved Murray & Roberts’ plans to look into a potential tie-up with Aveng while it is a subject of a hostile takeover by its biggest shareholder ATON.

    Following the approval, Germany’s ATON submitted an appeal to the Takeover Special Committee (TSC) requesting that the TRP approval be overturned.

    On Wednesday the TSC ruled to overturn the TRP approval and prohibit Murray & Roberts from continuing to develop the potential transaction whilst the ATON offer remains in place, the construction firm said in a statement.

    “The board is in the process of reviewing the TSC ruling together with its legal advisers and consulting with Aveng. The board will make a further announcement regarding the proposed transaction in due course,” it said.

    In a separate statement Aveng said it noted Murray & Roberts’ intention to further engage with the company.

    Murray & Roberts has been in tug of war with its top investor ATON since March when the German investment house launched a takeover bid, which was rejected as poor value for shareholders.

    Murray & Roberts then proposed an all-share merger with rival Aveng in May, which ATON called it a “poison pill” and a “frustrating” action.

    To prevent the potential merger between Aveng and Murray & Roberts, ATON bought a 25.42% stake in Aveng.


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    Making gains from manufacturingMaking gains from manufacturingRealignment between agencies required Namibia's policies for the development of the manufacturing sector are good but, streamlining and implementation fall short. Namibia recently played host to the Southern African Development Community's Industrialisation Week.

    With this event, which was held last week under the theme 'Promoting Infrastructure Development for Sustainable Development', Namibian Sun saw it fit to gain insight from the Namibian Manufacturers Association on whether Namibia was making significant inroads.

    Its CEO, Ronnie Varkevisser, took stock of Namibia's gains in the manufacturing sector but also added that there was great room for improvement needed to propel Namibia forward as a manufacturing giant.

    “We do have great policies in place. However, if you look at the Growth at Home Strategy for instance, even if we only implement half of what is contained in that document the manufacturing industry will benefit tremendously and will indeed start to become a key pillar of the economy as envisaged in Vision 2030, NDP 5, and the Harambee Prosperity Plan to mention but a few,” said Varkevisser.

    According to him, there needs to be more collaborative efforts between the various role players in government which include the various ministries, offices and agencies.

    “Government needs to get a holistic picture of manufacturing, and in that holistic picture, different government ministries and agencies need to be aligned to reach the same outcome as per the action plans and policies.”

    He also encouraged more interaction between government and the private stakeholders.

    “Although government is consulting with the private sector on certain issues, this interaction should receive even more attention, and the contribution and/or input by the private sector should be incorporated more in the 'action plans' of the various policies to enhance growth in the economy and thereby create more job opportunities,” said Varkevisser.

    He also encouraged government to build more synergies internally to help improve programme outcomes.

    “Manufacturing is one of the key pillars in our economy and thus should receive the focus and support it deserves when formulating and executing our various industrial policies such as the Growth at Home initiative.”

    He encouraged government to simplify its approach to manufacturing. “To overcome certain challenges in the manufacturing industry we should try to 'Keep it short and simple'. We should also focus on sorting out the problem, not the blame.”


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    Outjo shack dwellers to build nearly 70 housesOutjo shack dwellers to build nearly 70 houses The governor of Kunene Marius Sheya, this weekend officially launched the servicing of 35 000 square metres of land where 68 houses will be built by members of the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia (SDFN).

    The federation's regional facilitator, Sibila Eibes on Saturday told Nampa her group cleared the land and that the servicing of the land started on Saturday.

    Eibes said the SDFN's Outjo branch purchased the land in Extension 6 from the Outjo municipality in 2013 for less than N$4 per square metre using member contributions.

    The 68 plots will measure between 300 and 470 square metres.

    “We will now first dig the trenches where we can lay down water and sewage pipes before the actual construction of our houses starts,” she said.

    The Outjo branch was established in 2008 and now has 640 members, the majority of whom are unemployed women aged between 32 and 78.

    Eibes said all that is needed to become a member is a total commitment to the activities of the federation, as well as a once-off contribution fee of N$800.

    Another member of the federation, Romeo Richter said SDFN members at Outjo will manufacture bricks themselves and use experienced contractors to build the houses.

    SDFN technical expert Heinrich Amushila, who was also present on Saturday, told this news agency that the beneficiaries will each receive a one-bedroom house with a lounge, kitchen and bathroom worth N$35 000.

    “The designs of their houses also make provision for future extension,” said Amushila.

    Outjo mayor, Samuel !Oe-Amseb on his part said the council will avail more land to the federation in the future so members can build decent houses for themselves.

    !Oe-Amseb then called on Outjo residents to join the federation to become owners of affordable and decent houses.


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  • 08/05/18--16:00: Schools' hockey thrills
  • Schools' hockey thrillsSchools' hockey thrills The schools' hockey league was another top attraction, with several schools performing at the best of their capabilities.

    Boys' First League

    Windhoek Gymnasium Private School outclassed Walvis Bay Private High School 4-1 to reach the final.

    Windhoek High School managed to overcome a resilient Windhoek Afrikaanse Privaatskool 1-0.

    The final in this category will therefore be between Windhoek Gymnasium Private School and Windhoek High School.

    Girls' First League

    Windhoek High School narrowly defeated St Paul's 1-0 in the league semi-final game.

    Windhoek Gymnasium Private School got the better of Windhoek Afrikaanse Privaatskool with a 2-0 win.

    Windhoek Gymnasium Private School will face Windhoek High School in the final.

    Second league (boys)

    Jan Mohr Secondary School is riding on a wave of success following their 5-4 win over Otjiwarongo Secondary School in a nail-biting shootout.

    Windhoek High School also proved their mettle in the other semi-final trouncing Edugate 3-0 to set a date with John Mohr in the final.

    Second League (girls)

    Windhoek High School went out all guns blazing in the semi-finals as they embarrassed Tsumeb Gymnasium 6-0.

    Windhoek Afrikaans Private School was also in the mood with a thrilling 2-0 win over Walvis Bay Private High School.

    This means that the two victorious teams will face off in the final of the competition.

    Third league (girls)

    The secondary school girls' third hockey league saw Windhoek High School (b) beating KPS 1-0.

    Windhoek High School (a) also salvaged a 1-0 victory over Elnatan on Saturday.

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    School sports revived this weekendSchool sports revived this weekendWHK Gymnasium on a cruise There were tears of joy from some schools while others were left inconsolable in a weekend filled with sport drama. It was an action-packed sporting weekend as schools gathered at the Hage Geingob Stadium and the Windhoek Gymnasium Private School to battle for top places in the Namibia School Sports Union leagues.

    The Momentum-sponsored schools' rugby competition was the highlight of the sport activities in the capital.

    Some schools exited the competition, while others went on to triumph in several sport codes.

    The dominance of some schools in sport was evident during the competition as they swiped away other schools. Excited parents of the participating athletes packed the stands to cheer for their schools' teams.

    The officiating of matches was top-notch.

    Hockey, netball and rugby at the end of the day brought smiles to many spectators' faces.

    Windhoek Gymnasium ran riot in the netball league with emphatic victories over their opponents.

    Fans watching from home were treated to a special live coverage on Namibia Media Holdings' (NMH's) social media platforms.

    The games will continue next week with the Momentum Schools' League quarterfinals while the hockey league finals will be played.

    Rugby quarters come alive

    The level of Namibian rugby once again lived up to expectations with mouth-watering Momentum Schools' Rugby quarterfinals at the Hage Geingob Stadium.

    Moria (l) got the better of Tsumeb Gymnasium with a 35-31 win in the under-19 quarterfinals on Friday night.

    M&K Gertze under-14 defeated Windhoek Gymnasium Private School 39-24 in the under-14 (B).

    Dr Lemmer (ll) suffered a 22-24 defeat to Windhoek Afrikaanse Privaatskool (II) in the under-19 (C) quarterfinals.

    Windhoek Gymnasium Private School beat Jan Mohr (I) 20-15 in the under-19 (C) quarterfinals.

    Dr Lemmer was destroyed 40-3 by Elnatan in the under-15 (B) quarterfinals.

    The action continued on Saturday with Grootfontein Agri College under-15 losing 0-27 to HTS in the under-15 (b).

    Otjiwarongo put 29 past De Duine, who only scored 19 in the under-15 (b) quarterfinals.

    KPS (I) efforts were rewarded as they beat Windhoek High School (lll) 42-36 in the under-19 (c) quarterfinals.

    PK de Villiers (I) beat Windhoek Gymnasium Private School (III) 24-19 in the under-19 (b) quarterfinals.

    The score between Grootfontein Agri College (l) and M&K Gertze (l) ended 21-23 in favour of Agri in the under-19 (b) quarterfinals.

    De Duine (I) beat Dr Lemmer (I) 37-0 in the under-19 (b) quarterfinals.

    Results at the Windhoek Gymnasium Private School:

    Grootfontein (I) 31-33 M&K Gertze (II), under 19 (D) quarterfinals.

    Karibib Private School (I) 30-27 Mariental Sports Academy, under 19 (D) quarterfinals.

    Gobabis Gymnasium (I) 1-29 Windhoek High School (IV), under 19 (D) quarterfinals.

    HTS (I) 65-98 Walvis Bay (II), under 19 (C) quarterfinals

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  • 08/05/18--16:00: Entertainment tax
  • Entertainment tax Entertainment tax Entertainment is a very much sought after form of “distraction” from a busy, serious and rigid work life, where the young and the old of our generation are always on the lookout for some “entertainment” to take their minds off crazy month ends. When economic days are dark, the entertainment industry amongst other industries is one of the least affected and the recovery is always fast as dark economic days clear.

    The PwC “Entertainment and Media Outlook 2017-2021: An African Perspective” publication released last year September contains interesting analysis and forecasts for this industry.

    Having the above in mind and keeping in mind future entertainment events hosted in Namibia, it is important to know that the Income Tax Act imposes a 25% withholding tax on entertainment fees paid to a non-Namibian resident by any Namibian resident.

    An entertainment fee for the purposes of withholding tax on services is defined as: … any amount payable to an entertainer (including a cabaret, motion picture, radio, television or theatre artiste and any musician) or a sportsperson, and includes any payment made to any other person in relation to such activity…

    The Act further states that a resident person who fails to deduct from the payment or withhold the 25% tax from the entertainment fee paid to a non-Namibian resident, or deducts the 25% and fails to pay the withheld amount to Inland Revenue is liable for that amount as if it is tax due by the Namibian resident (i.e. personally liable).

    There are penalties and interests imposed for any non-compliance to the provisions imposing the 25% withholding tax.

    Entertainment agencies, festivals, shows, gala dinners, trade fairs, concerts, films and theatre organisers should therefore be mindful of the tax consequences when they make payment to foreign entertainers.

    Remember that not knowing whether you are supposed to withhold tax or not is not an excuse in itself to not withhold. Make sure that you understand that potential tax implications of making payments for entertainers, and ensure that you follow the correct steps.

    Johan Nel is a partner: corporate tax service at PwC Namibia. This series on tax is published in Market Watch bi-monthly on a Monday.

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    ‘Become more active in foreign markets’‘Become more active in foreign markets’AfCFTA to benefit Nam The export of goods and services is the way forward for companies. For Namibia to grow its economy, the country needs to become more active in foreign markets, SMEs Compete Director, Danny Meyer has said.

    In an interview with Nampa, Meyer said the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) will benefit the country.

    “It is an exciting development, especially in the long run, and it really was a wise decision by Namibia to become a signatory to and thereby a party to the AfCFTA,” he said.

    Taking into account market size limitations, Meyer said the agreement will benefit many as it will increase exports of goods and services.

    According to the African Union, one of the main objectives of the agreement is to expand intra-African trade through better harmonisation and coordination of trade liberalisation and facilitation and instruments across Africa’s Regional Economic Communities and across Africa in general.

    Meyer said the export of goods and services is the way forward for companies and for countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

    “Viewed from a regional perspective, countries in sub-Saharan Africa will grow their respective economies at a much faster pace than they have done in the past, with a higher level of trade among themselves,” he explained.

    He added that a good starting point would be an increased level of exports between countries in the region which would progressively expand further into other regions on the continent.

    Meyer said the AfCFTA is a step in the right direction, as businesses have been calling on their governments to facilitate easier movement of goods, services, capital and people. - Nampa

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  • 08/05/18--16:00: BA manager dies
  • BA manager diesBA manager dies Black Africa Football Club team manager Salimi Shikulo died in Windhoek on Wednesday.

    The club's chairperson, Boni Paulino, told Nampa that Shikulo died at the Katutura State Hospital.

    “I spoke to her brother earlier today and he said he was speaking to family members with regard to funeral arrangements, which will be announced soon,” he said.

    Indications are that the late Shikulo will be buried in her hometown of Otjiwarongo if everything goes according to plan, Paulino added.

    He said she had been in and out of hospital for the better part of the last three months.

    Paulino said Black Africa met on Thursday to see how they could help her family with the funeral arrangements. Shikulo was with the club as team manager for the last five years.


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    Karateka ready for elite competitionKarateka ready for elite competitionNAKU makes great strides The president of the Namibia Karate Union (NAKU), Cornelius D'Alton, speaks highly of the union's athletes. The Namibia Karate Union (NAKU) believes that its participants are ready to take on bigger competitions given what they have achieved at lower-level competitions.

    The union says 2018 has been a noteworthy year for Namibian karate and athletes are gaining momentum and experience.

    The year started with the national team trials, at which the finest young talents were selected for training.

    “Since the selection of athletes, the team has undergone constant training and testing through competitions to prepare our athletes for more elite level international competition,” says the president of the union, Cornelius D'Alton. Naku gave an impressive performance at the 2018 AUSC Region 5 Karate Championships after finishing third out of seven countries.

    “NAKU set its sights on the 2018 African Youth Games in Algiers, Algeria, which ended last week.

    “To ensure the best chance of medalling, NAKU only sent the very best athletes in their respective categories.

    “Freddy Mwiya Jnr (male individual kata and male individual kumite, -68kg), Mayvonne Swart (female individual kata and female individual kumite, -58kg), and Michelle Tjimuku (female individual kumite, -48kg) were our representatives at the Games.

    “Accompanying the team were national coach Sensei De Wet Moolman and Namibian chief referee Sensei Wikus Oberholster.

    “Day one of the karate competition started with the kata disciplines, and both athletes, Mayvonne Swart and Freddy Mwiya Jnr, faced large categories of 12 and 16 contestants respectively.

    “Namibia's karate wonder boy, Freddy Mwiya Jnr, put on a very respectable performance of two wins and two losses, ultimately losing to Algeria and taking fourth place.”

    The union said it was proud of the athletes' work rate at the Youth Games in Algeria.

    “Not only did the athletes prove that they are ready to compete at such elite levels of competition, they each achieved a top five ranking on the continent, highlighting Namibia's high standard.

    “The highlight of the trip was undoubtedly Mayvonne's performance, placing third in female individual kata.

    “Having placed among the top three countries in Africa highlights Namibia's readiness to take on higher levels of competition.”

    When asked to comment on his team's performance, Sensei Moolman said: “The fact that there is room for growth is an exciting prospect for the future of Namibian karate, and the work now has to be done to translate these results into even stronger performances at international level.”

    Next stop for Moolman and his team is the 17th African Senior Karate Championships and ninth African Junior Karate Championships, to be held from 28 August to 2 September in Kigali, Rwanda, followed by the WKF Senior World Championships in Madrid, Spain.

    “Both instances unfortunately require the athletes to pay their own way, finances allowing, but the Namibia Karate Union is optimistic that new sponsors will begin to see karate as a worthwhile opportunity to promote their brand.”

    - Additional info by NAKU

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    Young men crucial in winning HIV battleYoung men crucial in winning HIV battle Health minister Bernard Haufiku says the last stretch to reach the 2020 goal of HIV epidemic control in the country will largely depend on a number of innovative ways to reach young people, especially young men, who are less likely than any other group to get tested and treated.

    At the launch of the Namibia Population-based HIV Impact Assessment (Namphia) last week, the minister highlighted findings that show how close Namibia is to achieving epidemic control in accordance with the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets, but note that unless young men can be more effectively targeted, achieving those goals would be difficult.

    In terms of the 90-90-90 goals, Namibian women have already exceeded those targets, Haufiku pointed out, although women are more likely than men to be HIV infected. Haufiku said it is likely that “the only reason Namibia has not reached the 90 targets is because on the first 90 target, young men aged 15 to 25 years only achieved 72% of having their population group tested. If we can get them tested, we can achieve this target, even as early as next year.”

    In line with the triple ninety targets, 86% of all people living with HIV are aware of their status, and 96% of all those who are aware of their status are on treatment, and 91% of all those on treatment are virally suppressed, which means the chance of transmission to a partner is near zero. The minister noted the Namphia results indicate women are doing “very, very well” in terms of knowing their status, being on treatment and achieving viral load suppression. Haufiku added that although Namibia's progress in fighting the epidemic is cause for celebration, with a total HIV prevalence of 12.6%, down from 14% in 2014, in addition to other achievements, “Namibia's successes in HIV prevention and treatment however are not without risk, and they are reversible. We can very easily slide back to where we were five years ago.” Health officials through the US President's Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR), a key partner to the Namibian government's efforts to address HIV and the Namphia survey, earlier this year explained that globally men are less likely than women to seek healthcare, whether it is for HIV testing or treatment, or other illnesses. Another issue is cultural perceptions, such as the myth that men should be strong and seeking healthcare is weak, in addition to the ongoing negative stigma associated with HIV in some areas. International studies have shown that men often find it harder to get time off from work during the day and healthcare services are often not available outside of working hours. Haufiku said involving women and tasking them with ensuring that men visit clinics could be one way to overcome men's reluctance. Moreover, testing, counselling and treatment should be taken directly to communities, instead of “only waiting for young men to come to our clinics and hospitals.” He said “young people, especially young men, don't like hospitals or clinics.” Another option would be to extend clinic hours for HIV testing, Haufiku said. He added efforts to mobilise young people around youth events and personalities, as is being done already, should continue and be strengthened. He also proposed a mobile clinic that can reach people in the most remote areas of the country, and called on support for manufacturing condoms at a reasonable price and making them available to all. Haufiku underlined that denying condoms to those who need them, especially in key populations, including those who are incarcerated, could hamper further success in achieving the 2020 HIV targets.


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    Private school building haltedPrivate school building halted The community of Onambeke village near Onathinge in the Oshikoto Region has rejected an environmental impact assessment (EIA) presented to them on Friday for the Northcote Private Secondary School.

    The construction of the school, situated along the Ondandwa-Omuthiya main road, is almost complete.

    In 2015, the community through the village headman, wrote to the Oshikoto Communal Land Board to investigate the construction of the school in their village after the owner, Ugandan national Josef Lwande, who is a doctor in Ondangwa, allegedly acquired the land by dubious means and illegally started building the private school.

    After investigating the matter, the land board halted the construction and requested an EIA to be conducted and proper compensation procedures to be followed before construction could proceed. However, the construction was already at an advanced stage and the community now claims that the report presented to them on Friday could not be valid as it was conducted on land that was already built on. The headman's representative at Friday's meeting, Augustinus Nafuka, lashed out at the Business Success Consulting Corporation, the company that conducted the EIA and hosted the meeting, saying they only notified him about the meeting a day earlier. He added he was told to invite community members to the meeting at the last minute, which led to poor attendance. Nafuka said the village headman, David Shivute Shindondola, could not attend the meeting for health reasons. “Many people wished to attend this meeting, but since we were only notified on Thursday, arrangements could not be made to ensure that people could attend. You are supposed to announce public meeting dates through the radio and newspapers in time so people can attend and ask their questions,” Nafuka said.

    Business Success Consulting Corporation representative Kondjashili Moses apologised and admitted that they did not follow the right procedures because they were pressed for time. Moses said the purpose of the meeting was for the community to comment on the draft EIA and to add additional issues. He told the community that the EIA could not establish any environmental hazard or damage that could prevent the school from being established in the area.

    “This piece of land is used as a mahungu field, and this means the land is already disturbed since it has been cleared for agricultural purposes. There are only a few shrubs and one noticeable tree (Diospyros mespiliformis), along with a few patches of grass because the area. The tree, a jackalberry, is common the Cuvelai region and is a fruit-bearing tree,” said Moses. “Only large fruit-bearing trees are protected, however in the area in question there is only one and it is young, not bearing any fruit yet. This tree will also not be cut down because it does not affect the construction in any way.” But Nafuka said the EIA was not a true environmental report of the land in question. “We grew up here and we knew what this place was like before the school's construction started. Your report is based on what you found on the land after construction already started. This was supposed to be carried before construction started. We cannot believe this report,” fumed Nafuka. The community reported that in 2007 a village pensioner, Thomas Shipanga, who is employed by Lwande, requested a 6.722 hectare piece of land to put up a house and a kindergarten. They agreed on terms with the landowner and it was also agreed up on by the village headman. Shipanga constructed a shelter, but later went back to the village headman, saying a certain doctor from Ondangwa wanted to build a school. The headman refused, saying it was not in their original agreement.

    “Despite this, the construction of the school started without any further consultation. When we sought to speak with Shipanga about the development, he was not available. The headman finally managed to summon both him and Lwande,” the community claims. Nafuka said that the community had no problem with the school per se, but wanted proper procedures to be followed, including the compensation policy.


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  • 08/05/18--16:00: Corruption cripples Health
  • Corruption cripples HealthCorruption cripples HealthHaufiku calls for complete overhaul One of the health ministry's biggest challenges is the fact that the Central Medical Store has become a bottomless pit with no accountability. Health minister Bernard Haufiku says corruption in his ministry is entrenched and is eating away at the ministry's purse, making it difficult to function adequately.

    In an exclusive interview with Namibian Sun on Friday, he said the ministry's poor performance was caused by a multitude of problems and players, and also because people simply do as they wish. He said he was calling for a complete overhaul of the structures, including an improved management, procurement and distribution process, adding that if it didn't happen, the ministry would always be dogged with controversy and problems. One of the biggest challenges is the fact that the Central Medical Store has become completely “dysfunctional with no accountability mechanisms. It is actually a bottomless hole.

    “There is not much accountability going on there. I was there two weeks ago and I learned that stock is ordered at the district at any time and any hospital requests. Apparently, there is a policy that no one must be denied medicine. So even if I gave you 100 items last week and today, you want another 100, I do not ask what happened to the other 100, I just supply,” he said. The ministry has also been forced to abandon an arrangement in which it hired a consortium of consultants from the United Kingdom to turn around operations at the Central Medical Stores last year.

    Haufiku pointed out that the ministry is spending a lot of money on buy-out items, medicines which are specifically and individually prescribed to state patients, which are often at triple the actual market value.

    “In many of the cases, the budget can be managed to get what is required but the way it is spent is unacceptable. Items sometimes are bought at prices three times that of the market price because there are so many interests inside and outside the ministry who prey on the procurement process,” he said. “Even our catering tenders are working against us. People have tenders but 80% of the work is done by our government employees. But, the final decision is made by the then tender board and not the ministry. The taking of the food to the patient, the cutlery, the pots they use, it is all government owned and paid for,” he said. The change in procurement procedures which has seen ministry purchases reside under the permanent secretary and no longer with the hospital itself, has made the system tedious, Haufiku said.

    “The change in tender procedures, which saw the budget move to the direct supervision of the permanent secretary, has created huge bottlenecks. Anything that a district hospital needs is subjected to approval from the PS, even for basic items such as a light bulb. The rest has to go to central procurement board and this too, creates delays and other challenges,” he said. He is of the view that it makes sense that the management of any district hospital must be able to handle the budget of their hospital and be held accountable for every penny they spend.


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    Windhoekers run against poachingWindhoekers run against poachingRoad and trail runners appreciate nature The Daan Viljoen police checkpoint is the starting point for this weekend's Anti-poaching Run. The Windhoek City Runners Club, in collaboration with Varta Namibia, will host the Anti-poaching Run this Saturday.

    The event is aimed at supporting nature conservation efforts and raising awareness of the dangers of poaching and the plundering of other natural resources.

    “As a running club we take cognisance of the importance of nature to both our sport and our lives.

    “Nature is essential to our lives and it is important in making our world look beautiful and spectacular,” the organisers say. Athletes will be running on open roads and natural trails in a beautiful landscape east of the city.

    “It's important that our flora and fauna are preserved for both our generation and generations to come, and to ensure the continued attraction and survival of Mother Nature.

    “We should therefore acknowledge the fact that natural features such as forests, rivers, oceans, birds and animals all contribute in beautifying the earth, for without these life forms, the planet would be desolate with no traces of life.”

    An entrance fee of N$200 for non-members will be charged, while City Runners Club members will pay N$150.

    The 30km and 20km runs will start at 06:00, and the five-kilometre run at 06:30. The Windhoek City Runners Club (WCRC) is affiliated to Athletics Namibia through Khomas Athletics.

    The club was established with the aim to promote and develop running at competitive as well as social level.

    It aims to encourage a healthy lifestyle incorporating running or walking regardless of age, gender or athletic ability.


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  • 08/05/18--16:00: Help them from the start
  • Help them from the startHelp them from the start Reports have surfaced that some of Namibia's Paralympic athletes are struggling with funds to buy equipment and training gear.

    These athletes, who aspire to become national heroes one day, are stuck and do not know where to turn as their dreams of winning gold medals are slowly fading.

    Paralympic wheelchair cyclist Frans 'Tupac' Paulus's career is on the verge of collapsing following a series of financial setbacks.

    The cyclist, who is based in the north, has been out of action since February and has been unable to train because of a lack of funds.

    His wheelchair is not up to standard anymore, given a lack of funds to get it serviced.

    Another Para-athlete, Etchegaray 'Etche' Nguluwe, needs a new prosthetic foot in order to compete locally and internationally.

    The athlete was born with a clubfoot and his left foot was amputated in 2016.

    The Namibia Paralympic Committee (NPC) raised money last year for a running 'blade' from Pretoria. However, the prosthesis doesn't fit anymore and is causing Nguluwe severe pain.

    These guys are among our medal hopefuls at future competitions and I think it's important for them to get the help they need.

    When Johanna Benson won the first Paralympic gold and silver medals for Namibia, individuals and companies flocked to give her assistance and money.

    She was hailed as a national hero and named the Golden Girl of Namibia.

    This financial boost only came after Benson had won a gold medal at the London Paralympic Games in 2012.

    The same thing happened to Ananias Shikongo, who received a large amount of financial assistance after his success at the Rio de Janeiro Paralympic Games.

    The man who was living in a shack and walking to the Youth Complex for training before travelling to Rio received a house and other financial assistance after winning the gold medal.

    Now let us forget about all those windfalls that came afterwards and remember how these athletes suffered before they became champions.

    Transport and training gear were problems for both Benson and Shikongo. There were only a few people and companies who supported them before they became famous.

    I find it disturbing that people will only help you after you have reached the top, but not while you are struggling to get there. I would therefore like to urge companies and individuals to support Nguluwe and Paulus.

    They have proven that they are passionate about their sports despite their challenging circumstances, and that they want to become world champions.

    It is therefore the duty of every Namibian company that makes money out of this beautiful country to contribute towards the growth of these struggling athletes.

    Let us not just turn up and celebrate the success of people when they reach the top, but let us be with them during their struggles.

    Nguluwe and Paulus need our help to reach the top of their careers.

    I know that there are companies that are really helping athletes, but others continue to turn a blind eye towards their social responsibilities.


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  • 08/05/18--16:00: Your comment surprised us
  • Your comment surprised usYour comment surprised us Mr President, you say that one Namibian that goes to bed hungry is one too many. We applaud you for that and further, we applaud the strides we know government has made to reduce poverty in this country.

    However, when you say to a journalist that you do “not know what he is talking about” regarding 'many Namibians going hungry', we take offence.

    You do not have to go far to find hungry Namibians.

    In fact, as many Windhoek residents know, the street children in the capital are much like a measurement of weather.

    They are back, both at the traffic light at the crossing of Robert Mugabe Avenue and Sam Nujoma Drive, and also, at the traffic light at the crossing of Hosea Kutako and Independence avenues.

    Had the works ministry not demolished the dilapidated government house opposite the lands ministry in Robert Mugabe Avenue, you would have found entire community of hungry Namibians there, including babies.

    Hungry Namibians, very young and very old, also frequent the strip mall in Okahandja.

    They are so hungry in fact, they do not ask for money, but for bread, in exchange for watching your car.

    While we acknowledge that coverage of the vulnerable has improved, and while we further acknowledge what you have done in your presidency for the old-age pensions, the fact that more orphans and vulnerable children are now receiving grants is sadly, not a good thing.

    Those numbers should be coming down, not going up.

    We are not doing well. We are beginning to pay for our lack of maintenance in our hospitals and, our lack of providing decent housing for our people. Diseases like hepatitis E are here to stay. And we do not have the money to upgrade especially Katutura hospital.

    So Mr President, we cannot understand how you could say that you do not know what the journalist is talking about.

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  • 08/05/18--16:00: Haifidi to head NAC again
  • Haifidi to head NAC againHaifidi to head NAC againAochamub takes up diplomatic posting The airports company is still without a permanent CEO, only months before a security audit of Hosea Kutako Airport by the International Civil Aviation Organisation. The Namibia Airports Company (NAC) on Friday announced the appointment of its strategic executive for corporate governance Lot Haifidi as acting CEO. Haifidi replaces Albertus Aochamub, who is expected to take up a diplomatic posting in Europe. Aochamub had served as the presidential spokesperson before his appointment as acting NAC CEO after Haifidi resigned in January. According to the NAC, the board decided on Friday morning to reappoint Haifidi as acting CEO. Namibian Sun understands that Aochamub will be named as the country's new ambassador to France. A statement, signed by NAC board chairman Patrick Kauta, said that this necessitated the appointment of a new acting CEO to lead the transitional period in light of intense preparations in respect of the impending International Civil Aviation Organisation security audit scheduled to take place at Hosea Kutako Airport in November.

    “The NAC board of directors would like to thank Mr Albertus Aochamub for services he rendered to the institution during his acting period and wishes him the best in his future endeavours. The NAC board hereby congratulates Mr Haifidi on his appointment and trusts in his abilities to lead the institution with a view to efficiently executing the NAC's statutory mandate of managing, operating and controlling all civil aviation airports in Namibia in a safe and secure manner.”


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