Shack Dwellers finally reap fruits of their labour

Patience pays off

09 August 2020 | Infrastructure

Derek Klazen, deputy minister of urban and rural development, “I am challenging you to share your knowledge with others.”

Walvis Bay •[email protected]

Members of the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia (SDFN) were in high spirits on Saturday.

The ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of houses on 68 erven took place in Narraville almost ten years after the federation was established with the aim to give low income earners the chance to become home owners.

The Narraville-based beneficiaries have been saving money to build their homes since 2007.

Members of the high level ministerial delegation assessing the Covid-19 situation in the region officiated the ceremony.

Derek Klazen, the deputy minister of rural and urban development, encouraged the SDFN members to share their knowledge with others so that more Namibians can eventually acquire their own homes as well.

The ministry also availed N$1 million for the construction of roads and other services at the designated area.

“Start today and get the land for the other groups who have been crying for affordable housing. I can assist from my side, but I need a plan of action, so that everyone can be accommodated. We cannot work against each other or leave others out in the cold.”

The Walvis Bay Municipality allocated 268 erven in 2012, and assisted the federation in completing the plans for the 68 erven in Narraville.

Earthworks started in 2019 with various businesses sponsoring earthmoving equipment.

Erongo governor Neville Andre emphasised that the challenge of housing requires a concerted effort.

“Government cannot address this challenge alone. With partnerships such as these we can address the housing challenge and bring hope to our people. I can assure you that we are working around the clock to address the housing crisis.”

He urged coastal residents to stop accommodating people in backyard shacks and instead start with backyard gardens.

Hafeni Ndemula, the deputy minister of labour, said that housing assistance provides children in low-income households with an opportunity to improve and succeed academically, maintain their health and well-being, and achieve financial success later in life.

“Low cost housing is absolutely vital and in the midst of our housing crisis, is as important as ever. It builds communities and gives people support which helps them to live healthy, happy lives.

“This day marks the culmination of a long period of waiting by the residents of Narraville and planning by the council and staff of the municipality.”

The ground-breaking ceremony will be followed by the construction of roads which will lead to the installation of services and ultimately the construction of houses.

“Let us appreciate and put our shoulders to the wheel in support of decongestion efforts everywhere. Although the construction of roads and other services will still be done in phases, I regard this day as a mammoth contribution to the decongestion efforts currently underway in this region.”

Ndemula applauded the SDFN for finding a solution to providing affordable housing that works.

“This is a solution that has successfully spread across our country and continues to impact positively the lives of our people.”

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