Unam raises N$140k for land

Over N$140 000 was raised in a campaign by the University of Namibia to collect funds for the servicing of residential plots.

12 January 2018 | Infrastructure

Launched in August 2015, Unam's 'Land-a-Dollar' campaign yesterday handed over N$140 779.38 to urban and rural development minister Sophia Shaningwa.

The campaign saw 200-litre metal drums placed strategically around the capital for people to donate a dollar in a bid to fund land acquisition for the landless in Namibia, following the introduction of the Harambee Prosperity Plan by President Hage Geingob.

At the time, the servicing of urban land had become a prime focus of government and local authorities and President Geingob, along with Shaningwa, had travelled north and west in a bid to secure land and get in touch with the situation on the ground.

At the handing over of the funds, Shaningwa said that the collection of the funds was “a demonstration of unity of purpose and partnership between the government, the academia and the youth”.

“Adequate supply of, and access to, serviced urban land in particular and productive land in general is one of the necessary conditions for achieving the national aspirations and desired outcomes.

“The scarcity or inadequate supply of serviced land is both pushing up the prices of land and also slowing down the process of housing delivery and general development in the country directly or indirectly.

“As such, the availability of affordable serviced land in both urban and rural areas is a critical prerequisite for meeting our national goals of providing decent housing and addressing the prevalent undesirable phenomenon of informal settlements as well as for business investment and economic development,” she said.

According to the minister, these efforts are welcomed and should be lauded.

She said that the “responsibility and burden of housing and urban land provision cannot be left to government alone, but requires concerted efforts from both the public and private sectors if we are to make the dream of 'adequate affordable housing' a reality for our people, specifically to the low- and middle-income households who are constrained to have their needs for decent shelter met through the market.”

She said that the housing challenge, in her view, was not insurmountable if the country and the government pooled resources and developed what she described as inclusive, equitable and innovative strategies, such as 'Land-a-Dollar'.

She expressed her gratitude to the management and Student Representative Council of Unam for their generous campaign and contribution.

“I wish to assure Unam, its students and management that your generous contribution will be put to good use, namely that it will be added to the other resources that are earmarked for land servicing and towards making a visible difference in the lives of our fellow countrywomen and men who are still struggling to find a place to come home.”

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