Good news met with mixed emotions
19 January 2021 | Infrastructure
Neville Andre; Erongo Governor; Please accept this little contribution since we cannot build mansions.”
Erongo governor Neville Andre informed the community that the construction of 121 houses for persons who formerly resided in Twalaloka informal settlement and whose shacks were destroyed in a blaze last year, will commence after the servicing process is concluded next week.
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 which already constructed 17 houses in two weeks in the area.
Andre said that the 121 houses will be constructed in the quickest possible time.
“The SDFN has a proven track record and have already build 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 also assist recipients with the construction process with six members to be assigned to assist each family with the construction of their homes.
The governor also instructed Otweya residents to take the certificates that was 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$4000 will be required for this process and the municipality have agreed that this amount can be paid over 12 months or once of. The next two weeks will be used for the registering of water metres. 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 process is completed.
Type of houses
The houses to be constructed will be the same as the 19 constructed by the SDFN.
It will be an open plan house with a room and a toilet fitted with a toilet pot and shower constructed on a 300 square metre erve. It will have one layer of paint and recipients will have to fence of their properties.
The houses will be equipped with low voltage electricity supply with capacity for lights, cooking utensils and a TV. It will cater for a small normal household and not for a large family.
The governor further encouraged residents not to add any shacks to their homes.
“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 for 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.”
Community activist Afraim Nanghama said that the community members had decided to launch an investigation into the allocation of houses.
He also expressed his dissatisfaction with the size of the toilets of the houses being constructed by the SDFN
“The toilets are not of decent size. One cannot even fit a washing machine into it. Council should remember that we are not poor and they are not doing us a favour. We are paying.”
Andre emphasised that the budget makes provision for the construction of 121 houses.
“It is not an issue of luxury but a matter of emergency. Please accept this little contribution since we cannot build mansions.”
Otweya residents committee member Jolokeni Johannes also requested clarity on the number of persons on the allocation list.
“We were initially 153 persons and 8 persons already received houses. There is now 145 persons left and you are only constructing 121 houses.”
The governor explained that the SDFN removed 32 names from the list as these persons are members of the group benefitting from the construction of houses sponsored by Standard Bank.
“The first 19 houses have been completed with another 13 houses remaining. The list of beneficiaries will be verified. Real victims should benefit. Those who do not meet the criteria will be removed.”
Room for expansion
Raymond Pietersen from the ministry of works and transport explained that when the construction of the 121 house are completed, home owners can obtain the complete plan from the municipality.
“These will show that plans for a three-bedroom house are actually already approved. This means houses can be extended and owners do not need a land surveyor at all to do so.”
Walvis Bay mayor Trevino Forbes commended government and the team responsible for the progress made and said that the project is a shining example of what can be achieved with cooperation.