Single quarters should be demolished: Nambili

28 Aug 2014 15:10pm
WINDHOEK, 28 AUG (NAMPA) - National Council (NC) member Ndapewoshali Nambili says single quarters all over Namibia should be demolished in order to establish new and better homes.
Speaking during the NC session on Thursday, Nambili said single quarters were built by colonisers to bring about division and control, adding that they are dirty and hygienically unfit for human habitation now.
“Furthermore, there is a lack of proper sanitation, which leads to the spread of infectious diseases such as cholera and other water and airborne diseases,” she noted.
Nambili said due to the lack of space in single quarters, there are no boundaries between the elderly and the young, which leads to no privacy and respect.
She emphasised that alcohol and drug abuse are also common daily activities of people living in such quarters and squatter camps.
“Young people in general are engaging in sexual activities at a tender age. They often engage in these activities because of situations in their homesteads.
They also tend to involve themselves in prostitution, leading to unwanted pregnancies, abortion and contracting diseases, including sexually-transmitted diseases,” she continued.
The National Council resumed its sessions on Wednesday to review the Public and Environmental Health; National Health; Pension Funds; and the Namibia Students’ Financial Assistance Fund Amendment Bills, which were passed in the National Assembly.
Single quarter accommodation is a legacy of the apartheid system. These are living premises comprising either a room or set of rooms with shared ablution blocks and kitchen facilities.
Such accommodation formed an integral part of the migrant labour system introduced into Namibia by the previous administration.
Only men were recruited from rural areas to work in factories and service industries in the towns on contract labour basis.
The legislation did not allow these workers to bring their families along. Employers and local authorities built long lines of rooms similar to barracks.
After independence, due to the freedom of mobility enshrined in the constitution, men invited their families to live with them. As a result, the single quarters became severely overcrowded, causing major social and health problems.
These overcrowded and unhealthy conditions have been experienced in all single quarters throughout the country.