Otweya houses almost complete
Homes become a reality
01 June 2021 | Infrastructure
Erastus Utoni; Minister; “I would like to see the houses being handed over to the beneficiaries this month...”
The 121 houses being constructed for the Twaloloka fire victims by government, are about 98% complete and will soon be handed over to beneficiaries.
The minister of urban and rural development Erastus Uutoni visited the construction site in Kuisebmond on Tuesday to check up on the progress.
A cabinet resolution was passed to build the houses after 153 shacks were destroyed in a fire on 26 July 2020.
Uutoni said that he is satisfied with the progress achieved thus far.
“Only a few months back, in March 2021 to be precise, this was an open field, and now there are houses. It is great to see everyone working together. This is what I want to see. We all need to pull in one direction, despite our political party affiliations, and work towards a common goal.”
Uutoni expressed his gratitude towards Erongo governor Neville Andre and the team who led the project on behalf of government.
“When I visited previously, I appealed to the Walvis Bay community under the leadership of the governor to work together and work towards one cause – building the houses for our people. What has been reported to me is only progress, no complaints.
“If there are any shortcomings, we will sort it out. I would like to see the houses being handed over to the beneficiaries this month or early next month.”
All hands on deck
About 200 people were temporality employed during the construction process and two women served the workers lunch every day. Food was donated and the women, Regina Katjizembua and Hangula Hendrina, volunteered to cook.
Governor Andre assisted with building one of the houses, along with Namdock, while students enrolled in a bricklaying course at COSDEC, built three houses. Additionally, a playground was also built for the people that will be living in the houses.
The pump-station for the area still requires a few final touches. This will be done by the end of the week.
Uutoni made it clear that he does not want to see shacks surrounding the brick houses.
“Our people must not add additional, unplanned structures. This is a very attractive township as it is. Maintain it.”
The one-bedroom units are built on a 300m² erf, allowing beneficiaries to expand the house later.
Provision has also been made for business erven, a clinic and a school.
Speaking at the occasion, Walvis Bay mayor Trevino Forbes said that council was dealing with private developers who are sitting on undeveloped land and who are not paying rates and taxes.
Executive director of the ministry of urban and rural development Nghidinua Daniel said that this particular issue was one of the resolutions passed during the second national land conference.
“Action should be taken on unutilized land to ensure that it is used. I think the media should assist government in addressing those who are holding onto land without developing it.”
Daniel said that government can take control of such land, but that does not have to be the case.
“We have to be responsible citizens and take only what we need and what we can afford. It is an appeal to the hearts of every Namibian: If you have more than what you need, then make it available to others. Don’t allow the law to force you to do it.”