Geingob hands over 19 houses at Otweya

The head of state applauded the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia for its commitment to and solidarity in building homes for the Namibian people.

09 November 2020 | Local News

NAMPA







WALVIS BAY

President Hage Geingob on Saturday handed over 19 houses to residents of Otweya informal settlement at Walvis Bay, whose shacks were destroyed in a devastating fire in July.

While handing over the houses, which were constructed by the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia (SDFN) within a month, Geingob applauded the federation for its commitment to and solidarity in building homes for the Namibian people.

He said: “For the federation to proudly say they want to build shelter for others is a commendable thing. We have even agreed that they are going to be our number one partner in removing the Otweya informal settlement because they are reasonable and efficient”.

He emphasised that shelter is one of the basic needs and it is unfortunate that some people still have to live in shacks and squat with others.

War against shacks

“This is why we have declared war against the existence of informal settlements. Together with the help of the private sector, we will address this ugly situation as it takes away the beauty of a country.”

The Namibian leader went on to call on everyone to hold hands and fight this inequality and encouraged companies to meet the government halfway by providing housing for their employees who are still living in informal settlements.

Geingob, however, discouraged homeowners from leaving their houses in order to rent them out while squatting with others.

“I hope it is not going to be the case when we provide housing. Let us not be selfish by making money for ourselves at the expense of others,” he cautioned.

Restoring dignity

A representative of SDFN partner Standard Bank, Nelson Lucas, emphasised the institution’s need to lend a helping hand in order to restore people’s dignity, who amidst the pandemic also lost all their belongings due to the shack fires.

“We, therefore, did not need an invitation to campaign for the restoration of hope and we can definitely say that this was more of a responsibility and a calling,” he noted.

SDFN representative in the Erongo Region Naftali Utoni commended the municipality’s quick response to providing land to the federation, enabling them to construct the first 19 houses for its fire-affected members.

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