Geingob and City of Windhoek address slum emergency

29 January 2019 | Local News


President Hage Geingob and top government officials today met with City of Windhoek leaders to tackle the national crisis of informal settlements and in particular, the fact that more than 130 000 Windhoekers are living in slum-like conditions.
Research by the City of Windhoek shows that informal settlement growth in Windhoek exceeds that of other residential areas, and it is estimated that the population of 131 000 is set to double within the next nine-and-a-half years unless urgent interventions are made.
The City yesterday also noted that the lack of basic services and the general conditions of the 87 identified informal settlements are forcing the residents living there into slum-like living conditions.
Geingob emphasised the need for government, the City and other stakeholders to join hands to address the national crisis.
He said the issue of informal settlements in urban areas are part and parcel of the actions agreed on at the second land conference last year.
He repeated that following last year’s land conference, government described the issue of informal settlements and the conditions faced by those living there as an “a national humanitarian crisis”, and that “government should declare it as a human disaster, so to speak”.
He underlined informal settlements have not been declared a national emergency but “it is a disaster and therefore we should address that to get rid of these informal settlements”,
Other speakers at yesterday’s meeting included top government ministers including Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, urban and rural development minister Peya Mushelenga, in addition to Khomas regional governor Laura Mcleod, Windhoek CEO Robert Kahimise and mayor Muesee Kazapua.
McLeod said the issue of those living in informal settlements is a serious concern but said the “challenges are so overwhelming that we are unable to manage in terms of the lack of resources” and other problems.
City representatives presented Geingob with an extensive overview of the current situation and the short- and long-term plans and challenges to address rapid informal settlement growth and to bring the number of informal homes to zero.
The meeting was part and parcel of government’s post land conference planning strategy to pave the way forward in addressing the resolutions taken there.
JANA-MARI SMITH

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