Juliane /Uxams, the regional facilitator in Kunene for the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia (SDFN), has entered into agreements with several municipalities, village councils and town councils for SDFN to build over one hundred low-cost houses in Kunene Region.
In terms of the agreement the federation was given virgin land, which the beneficiaries will de-bush and dig trenches for the installation of water and sewerage pipes. It was also agreed those listed as beneficiaries will make bricks and have weekly meetings where progress reports will be shared.
Based on affordability, monthly contributions are expected to be made and some beneficiaries that spoke to New Era said they made contributions ranging between N$250 and N$300 so that they could in turn access the housing loans being availed by the SDFN, to enable them to build a house comprising of one bedroom, a bathroom and a kitchen, but if the beneficiaries want a bigger structure they are requested to provide the extra funds.
/Uxams said: “We are busy with hundreds of houses in Kunene. We want to do away with shacks.” At Outjo, according to /Uxams, 72 houses are under construction, at Kamanjab eleven houses are under construction while at Khorixas 28 houses are under construction although 34 houses were supposed to be constructed.
Fransfontein settlement has completed 36 houses over the years, and there is a plot available for 126 houses at the settlement but due to challenges such as lack of sewage, water and electricity infrastructure funding construction did not begin yet, but according to /Uxams the construction of the houses is locally driven “and the beneficiaries must inform us when they are ready as we cannot say when the next phase will be”.
At Opuwo, there are more than 300 people on the waiting list and approximately 30 houses will be constructed in the Kunene regional capital this year. Khorixas has 190 people on the list and Khorixas town council has availed a plot for about 150 houses.
“We want to upgrade informal settlements therefore those who own an erf at the informal settlement must rather build their house on it,” /Uxams advises.
At Outjo alone there are 640 members who belong to the local shack dweller groups who are awaiting plots. The two regional facilitators say that the Kunene regional council, office of the governor together with local authority councilors have been of great assistance. Kunene Governor Marius Sheya, Outjo Constituency Councillor Johannes Antsino and Outjo Mayor Samuel !Oe-amseb have been making bricks for the houses. Antsino and his team work on constructing elderly people’s houses at Outjo every Monday for four hours.