Gobabis informal settlement get new lease on life

12 Mar 2014 14:20pm
GOBABIS, 12 MAR (NAMPA) – Residents of the Freedom Square informal settlement in Gobabis could soon enjoy the most basic amenities that have been lagging from the area. The informal settlement is located adjacent to a residential area bearing the same name in Epako.
The Shack Dwellers’ Federation of Namibia (SDFN) and the Namibia Housing Action Group (NHAG) with the financial support of the Embassy of Spain, through the Spanish Agency for International Development Co-operation (AECID), have been implementing the project.
AECID has pumped about N.dollars 600 000 into the project thus far.
The project, which has been receiving technical support from students of the Polytechnic of Namibia’s town and regional planning department, will see the informal settlement formalised with all the relevant services and amenities present.
It forms part of the Spanish Embassy's Community Land Information Programme (CLIP), which encourages community members to be part of efforts pertaining to the planning of town land.
Community members residing in the informal settlement have as a result been involved in the planning stages of how they want their area to look like once the project reached its maturity.
On Monday, the community members presented various maps depicting relevant services such as schools, clinics and community halls to officials of the Municipality of Gobabis.
Amenities such as communal water taps, community gardens and crèches were also identified as necessities.
The Spanish Ambassador to Namibia, Maria del Carmen Diaz Orejas, who was also at the event, expressed satisfaction with the progress made on the project this far.
She noted that the project has a potential to provide much needed shelter to hundreds of residents who are currently housed in make-shift structures at the town’s informal settlements.
“We are happy to have partnered with the Municipality of Gobabis to bring these essential services to these needy communities. This is an ongoing process that has been in existence for some four years now, and we will continue with it until our objectives are achieved,” she said.
Overall, about a 700 formal but serviced erven will be made available to the dwellers of the informal settlement during the first stage of the project, which could later be serviced during the later stages of the initiative.
Once the community’s planning of their informal settlement is approved by the relevant authorities such as the Gobabis Municipality and the line ministry, the provision of the amenities and services requested will then commerce through CLIP.