Otweya home development explained

Clearing the air

16 September 2021 | Infrastructure

Neville Andre; Governor; “The loss of dwellings due to the fire at Twalaloka necessitated this intervention…”

Walvis Bay • [email protected]


Following a report in a national newspaper saying that president Hage Geingob handed over “incomplete” houses to beneficiaries of the Otweya development project, Erongo governor Neville Andre refuted this statement.

Andre said some houses were handed over last week, to avoid a situation where complete houses remain unoccupied and may be vandalised.

“The houses handed over were complete; those in the process of completion include connections to the electrical reticulation system.”

Background

Andre said that the decongestion of over-populated areas was one of the measures identified and taken by government to reduce and/or prevent the transmission of Covid-19.

“Cabinet directed the ministry of urban and rural development and local authorities to implement proactive decongestion of informal settlements. Otweya (formerly Twaloloka) in Walvis Bay was one of the areas identified.”

While the project was being initiated, a fire broke out at Twaloloka (now Otweya).

“This event necessitated an escalation of the decongestion intervention.”

Andre said that in response to the fire, cabinet directed the ministry of urban and rural development to oversee the relocation of fire victims in partnership with the governor and the Walvis Bay municipal council.

“The Otweya decongestion and upgrading project was designed to consist of the design and supervision, construction of services and infrastructure (civil works - roads, water, sewer, pump station and rising main) and the construction of housing units. Otweya has been surveyed and demarcated into 225 erven, of which 215 are single residential erven.”

PHIM Consulting Engineers CC was contracted to provide services related to design, contract administration and supervision of municipal services infrastructure, including the supervision of the construction of electrical reticulation for which J & A Electrical and Civil Construction CC/ Rubytech Engineering Investment CC Joint Venture was engaged.

Land Servicing

The construction of municipal services (land servicing) is divided into two sub-phases: The construction of roads, sewer and water, and the construction of electrical reticulation.

The construction of infrastructure was completed by Strydo Construction CC for N$14 272 935, which was funded by government. J & A Electrical and Civil Construction / Rubytech Engineering Investment was awarded the bid to construct electrical reticulation at a cost of N$15 327 084 (excluding 5% contingencies and 15% VAT).

“The full electrification is underway and everything is being done to expedite the project to ensure that all the housing units have access to electricity in the shortest possible time.”

Andre also stated that the home owners have the responsibility to pay for their own water and electricity connection. They have also been given leniency to pay these connection fees over a period of 12 months.

Construction

Andre explained that with the latest verified information, the fire incident affected 174 people, of which 43 were identified as members of the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia (SDFN).

“In its effort to assist government, the SDFN with financial assistance from Standard Bank Namibia's Buy-a-Brick Initiative – after securing land from the Walvis Bay Municipality – to date built 36 houses for affected members.”

The houses for the remaining seven fire victims who are members of the SDFN are built at an estimated cost of N$800 000, which is being funded from the N$10 000 000 grant funding from government under the 2021/2022 financial year.

Besides financial assistance to the SDFN, government resolved to finance the cost of building houses for the rest of the identified and verified victims of the Twalaloka fire.

“The exact number of housing units that have been and/or are being built with funding being provided to the Walvis Bay municipality, from the ministry of urban and rural development, is 131.”

The total cost of construction of the 131 units amounts to N$9 927 871, and consists of the procurement of bulk materials from competitively selected suppliers as well as labour services from the SDFN.

The erven at Otweya are between 300 and 370 square meters in size.

The housing units constructed are one-bedroom with a toilet and shower and are fitted with pre-paid water meters. Each house has an approved plan, which can accommodate an additional two bedrooms.

Cost recovery

The governor said that the administration and modalities of the provision of land and housing at Otweya are based on the loan or cost recovery principles set out in the Build Together Programme.

“The municipality, together with my office, the Erongo Regional Council and with the support from the ministry, is developing the modalities. The beneficiaries will be informed and consulted in the process.”

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