Governor challenges private sector

20 August 2018 | Infrastructure

Otis Finck

The private sector has been urged to put their money where their mouths are in supporting worthy causes such as that being undertaken by the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia (SDFN).

The governor of the Erongo region, Cleophas Mutjavikua, said this during an earthworks exercise in Narraville last week. The town council had allocated land for the construction of affordable housing at the site.

“Partnership and participation should not merely remain words. It must become the central themes of action as we work to make our cities cradles of promise and opportunity.”

He said the government will continue to work closely with the SDFN in mobilising and creating awareness among the poor communities on issues of shelter, sanitation, education health and income generating projects.

Armed with shovels, rakes and wheelbarrows the members of the federation shifted sand alongside a frontend loader provided by CLI Transport.

Mutjavikua added that government recognises that housing is a challenge especially for the poor and low income groups in society.

“The housing sector displays the most acute disparities between the rural and urban areas as well as between population groups with the poor hardly having an opportunity to own a house. This challenge is however not insurmountable if government, the private sector and community pull resources together and develop inclusive, equitable and innovative strategies such as that deployed by the SDFN.”

The office of the governor has been collaborating with the SDFN in an effort to address the issue of affordable land delivery by engaging the private sector as well as community members involved with the initiative.

The governor previously facilitated the donation of brick making machines and initiated the volunteerism day concept to cut the construction and labour costs of servicing the land provided. The municipality also provided earthmoving machinery and truckloads of sand to fill up the area being prepared for the construction of houses.

He said that the opportunity to empower and work with the urban and rural poor as organised under the flagship of the SDFN is inspiring.

The municipality of Walvis Bay allocated 268 plots to the SDFN in Narraville in 2007 and assisted the federation in completing the plans for 68 plots.

According to Francisco Maree, a facilitator of the group in Narraville, the earthworks process was 70% complete. The group would like to finish the process by the end of November in order to start with the servicing and actual construction of 68 houses for beneficiaries in February 2019.