Otweya: Housing news met with mixed emotions

To speed up the provision of housing to people left homeless by a shack fire in Walvis Bay, the beneficiaries will have to help with the construction.

25 January 2021 | Infrastructure

OTIS FINCK

WALVIS BAY



Erongo governor Neville Andre last week informed the Otweya community that the construction of 121 houses for residents of Twalaloka informal settlement, whose shacks were destroyed in a fire last year, will start this week and be finished by the end of March.

He explained that a committee in the office of the prime minister is driving the Otweya project and said that due to limited resources available, no tender process will be initiated.



Proven track record

“We will employ a model which will see the beneficiaries playing an active part in the construction process as labourers. They will dig trenches and do the actual construction process.”

This model is browed from the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia. Andre said the 121 houses would be built in the quickest possible time.

“The SDFN has a proven track record and has already built 70 houses in three weeks in the Kunene Region. The process used by the SDFN is faster, cheaper and houses are constructed according to municipal standards. We want houses to be completed within the next two months.”

Experienced members of the SDFN will assist recipients with the construction, with six members to be assigned to assist each family with the construction of their home.



Way forward

The governor also instructed Otweya residents to take the certificates that were issued for erven last year to the municipality so that the registration for water meter connections can be done. “Take the certificate to the customer care centre so that the number on it can be taken. A fee of N$4 000 will be required for this process and the municipality has agreed that this amount can be paid over 12 months or once off. The next two weeks will be used for the registering of water meters. The construction process will then commence and will be executed in phases.”

The governor emphasised that the recipients of houses will be responsible for the payment of rates and taxes after the construction is completed.

The houses to be built will be the same as those constructed by the SDFN.

They will be open-plan houses with toilets and showers on 300-square-metre plots. They will get one layer of paint and recipients will have to fence their plots themselves.

The houses will be equipped with low-voltage electricity supply to power lights, cooking appliances and a television. It will be suitable for small households and not for extended families.



No shacks

The governor further encouraged residents not to build any shacks on their plots.

“This will result in an additional burden to the electricity supply and compromise the available power supply,” he said and called on residents to cooperated to ensure that all houses are completed by the end of March.

“I am urging unity and cooperation. Let us work together to ensure the beneficiaries have a decent place to stay. The tents will be removed by the municipality as houses are completed and people move in.”

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