Construction for houses at Otweya starts

Homes for fire victims

15 October 2020 | Infrastructure

Naftal Utoni; Project manager, “We need to work towards our vision where there are no more shacks in Walvis Bay, only proper houses.”

Walvis Bay • [email protected]

Construction of 35 houses has commenced for the Otweya fire victims in Walvis Bay.

The minister of labour Utoni Nujoma, his deputy Hafeni Ndemula, deputy minister of urban and rural development Derek Klazen, Erongo governor Neville Andre and the mayor of Walvis Bay Immanuel Wilfred, visited the construction site on Wednesday afternoon.

Twelve houses will be built at the site where a devastating fire destroyed 153 homes in the area than known as Twalokola on 26 July 2020.

Another 23 homes will be built opposite the site of the fire.

Only 20 houses were initially meant to be built at the site, however the municipality of Walvis Bay decided to add erven for another 15 houses.

Erongo governor, Neville Andre said that the construction of the houses is being done by the beneficiaries themselves, with the assistance of the Shack Dwellers Federation (SDF).

“As a nation we need to be able to build our own houses. As we see the progression of this site, we should be reminded of the transformation taking place. This is simply the start of a process that will continue and which serves the purpose of providing proper, dignified housing to our people.”

The houses will consist of a living area, a small kitchen area along with bathroom.

Contractors will arrive within this week to start with the servicing of the land.

The area is already equipped with services such as water and sewage lines. The site opposite has also been flattened and just requires the necessary services for construction to commence.

“Housing remains a challenge, but we will have to tackle it ourselves and step by step we will reach the eventual vision we have,” said the governor.

Labour minister Nujoma said he was pleased to see the residents of Otweya taking charge of their situation.

“These are the projects we want to see where residents take charge and that do not just rely on government for handouts. It was painful to see the devastation caused by the fire, where a young boy lost his life.”

He expressed his gratitude to everyone who assisted the fire victims from all over the country.

“This is how the people of Namibia should unite. The president declared that housing is a social problem and government is committed to addressing this challenge in the shortest time, resources permitting. The ministry of labour will assist in whichever way we can.”

Standard Bank came on board to help with the construction of the initial 20 houses for members of SDF who were fire victims.

Walvis Bay mayor Immanuel Wilfred called on other companies and individuals to assist in the construction process.

Naftal Utoni, SDF facilitator in the Erongo region, promised to finish the houses in two weeks. He encouraged individuals and local companies to assist SDF members in Narraville as well.

“Fishing factories need to come on board. We have members who are employees of fishing factories. We need to work towards our vision, where there are no more shacks in Walvis Bay, only proper houses. Our people are really suffering; some are paying rent of N$2 000 just for a ghetto.”

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