Rundu storm exposes Mass Housing faults

20 December 2017 | Infrastructure

Residents of a Mass Housing Project complex at Rundu say damage caused by a rainstorm on Monday afternoon has unveiled serious construction problems with their brand new homes.

A family of three had to flee their home on Monday night when the wind ripped off their roof and rain caused the ceiling to collapse, destroying most of the home's contents.

Moreover, the storm caused electrical wiring to be exposed, increasing the danger for the owners.

“They lost almost everything. They fled because they were scared they would be injured if they stayed, so they just drove off.

“Luckily the power also went out in the whole neighbourhood, because of the electrical connections that were exposed to the water,” Fernando Marungo, a neighbour, told Namibian Sun.



Marungo, who took video footage and photos of the damage, said serious questions must be asked about the quality of the houses and whose responsibility it is to fix the damage.



“Mass Housing is a disaster,” he said at one point while recording the storm.



Residents reported that at least seven of the houses, situated at Kaisosi next to the Unam campus, sustained damage. One unoccupied house also lost its roof and ceiling.



Marungo said it should be asked why completion certificates had been signed when it was clear the construction was seriously flawed.



He said residents were worried about what further havoc the rainy season, which has just started in the region, would cause.



“It's really scary. This is just the beginning of the rainy season. If there is another storm of this nature, I might be the next victim. Every resident is saying, when is it my turn now?”



Marungo said the residents hold the authorities, including the Namibia Housing Enterprise (NHE), responsible for the damage and the evident construction flaws in some, if not all, the houses.



“We residents recommend that the roofing of the houses should be redone by NHE before we lose our assets and even the lives of innocent people.”



Marungo said the NHE initiated the project and was involved for a long time.



“The NHE reports to the ministry of urban and rural development. If they cannot account, then the ministry should. Somewhere in their contract there should be a provision for damage that might happen to the properties in the first five years. If not, then we the residents will seek legal advice on the matter and take it up,” he said.



NHE spokesperson Eric Libongani said the NHE was no longer responsible for the Mass Housing Project.



The director of housing at the urban and rural development ministry could not be reached for comment.

JANA-MARI SMITH

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