Monday, 11 June 2018

NAMIBIA: Oshakati In Oshana Region Of Namibia

Oshakati Observervation Tower
Oshakati is a town of 37,000 inhabitants in the Oshana Region of Namibia. It is the regional capital and was officially founded in July 1966.

The city was used as a base of operations by the South African Defence Force (SADF) during the South African Border War.

Oshakati is divided into the electoral constituencies of Oshakati East and Oshakati West.

These towns are in the Owambo heartland, above the red line. Although not normally a tourist destination, this region contains the greatest population centers in Namibia.

In Oshiwambo, the language of the Ovambo, the town's name means that which is in between, although some believe that the name Oshakati or Otshakati was used to refer to the broadcast tower (275 m high), the tallest structure downtown and in Namibia.

Oshakati is one of Namibia's largest cities and it is located near the B1, Namibia's main highway, which stretches from South Africa through the capital Windhoek and on to the Angolan border.

The Oshakati town, popularly known as Otshakati tsha Nangombe by the native Kwambi people is within the Kwambi traditional authority.

In February 1988, a bomb blast occurred in Oshakati at the First National Bank, killing 27 people and badly injuring nearly 30 others, most of them nurses and teachers.

No one was ever officially convicted of the bombing and the issue was dropped upon independence in 1990 in favour of national reconciliation.

Oshakati has experienced much development since Namibia achieved independence on March 21, 1990.

In April 2006, the Oshakati Town Council building was inaugurated by Botswana's President Festus Mogae.

The Oshana Regional Study and Resource Center was established on September 17, 2014 through the assistance of the Millennium Challenge Account Namibia (MCA-N).

Situated between the GIPF house and the Social Security regional head office in Oshakati, the library can host up to 600 people, has 220 study spaces, a meeting hall that can accommodate 125 seated people, a video conferencing room, and shelving spaces for up to 35,000 books.

Oshakati has a football team, Oshakati City FC.

Many primary and secondary schools are to be found in Oshakati, e.g. Iipumbu, Oshakati, Ngolo, Erundu Secondary School, Cabatana and others, including Afoti Combined School in Uuvudhiya constituency in Oshana Region in the Omapopo cluster of Oshakati Circuit.

Since the turn of the century, there are now many shops like Jet, Mr Price, furniture stores, shoes stores, pharmacies, etc.

The three main shopping centres are Game, Etango, and Yetu. There is also Oshakati Independence Stadium and University of Namibia Northern campus.

Dr. Frans Aupa Indongo Open Market consists of seasonal market spaces, formal fresh food markets, formal cooked food markets.

The following groceries are available at the market: tomato, onion, watermelon, meat, dried fish and dried edible caterpillars.

Oshakati is situated in the Cuvelai-Etosha Basin and cut by the Okatana River.

Both of these geographic features make the town prone to flooding; in 2008 it was last hit by heavy floods.

The Oshakati Master Plan Project is underway to build a 23 kilometres (14 mi) dike around the town, to deepen and straighten the river, and to resettle people living near the riverbed and clogging the flow of water.

Oshakati has a semi-arid climate, with hot summers and relatively mild winters - with warm days and cool nights. The average annual precipitation is 472 mm (19 in), with most rainfall occurring mainly during summer.

Oshakati is governed by a town council that has seven seats.

Oshana Region, to which Oshakati belongs, is a stronghold of Namibia's ruling SWAPO party.

In the 2015 local authority election SWAPO won by a landslide (4,569 votes) and gained six council seats.

The remaining seat went to the Democratic Turnhalle Alliance (DTA) which gained 330 votes.

Major Katrina Shimbulu from SWAPO has been serving in this position from 2007 to 2010, and again after the 2015 election.

Oshakati Town Council hosts the annual Oshakati Totem Expo, which combines the celebration of local traditions with a modern business exhibition.

The event was launched by Oshana governor Clemens Kashuupulwa, on 9 June 2012. It takes place annually for a period of four days in the months of June or July.

Shared taxis are numerous through Ondangwa and Oshakati and most trips within one town will cost N$6.00 per passenger.

A shared taxi ride from Ondangwa to Oshakati can be negotiated for N$10.00 per person.

La Rocha's is located on the main highway (B1), and serves a wide selection of Portuguese and Angolan dishes.

Most cab drivers will understand where to go if pronounced Russias.

Tourism Observer

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