Ipinge wants shack-dweller concept applied to mass housing

17 Jun 2015 19:30pm
KALKFELD, 17 JUN (NAMPA) – The Otjozondjupa regional governor on Wednesday suggested that a similar concept of shack-dweller housing be applied in the Build-Together Programme and the national mass housing project.
Otto Ipinge was speaking during the official hand over of 34 brick houses built under the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia (SDFN) at Kalkfeld, situated approximately 70 kilometres south of Otjiwarongo in the Otjozondjupa Region.
“We must transform the national mass housing project into a concept similar to this of the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia. We all know that the national housing projects we initiated so far have failed our people, but I can proudly say the shack dweller concept is fast, cheap, straightforward and applicable,” he said.
The 34 one-bedroom houses were constructed in less than three years, and are electrified and connected to the sewerage line.
This, according to Ipinge, must be applauded.
He said the programme’s concept is simple and affordable, and produces decent houses for low-income earners compared to the Build Together Programme and the much-anticipated mass housing project.
Ipinge said if the central government really wants to provide affordable quality houses for all or to eradicate zinc houses and shacks through the mass housing programme, then a similar concept of the shack dwellers federation needs to be applied.
He explained that if a one-bedroom house with a kitchen, lounge and toilet could be built at a cost of N.dollars 23 000 under the federation, then the multi-million dollar mass-housing programme would cover everyone in the country.
Ipinge said the Otjozondjupa Regional Council supplied a serviced piece of land at Kalkfeld for free and members of the SDFN then built their affordable quality houses.
Federation members made the bricks, bought building materials and used some experienced builders amongst themselves to build 34 houses in less than three years.
According to Ipinge, it is good that the Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Sophia Shaningwa halted the mass housing project that gobbled government’s money with little production.
Immediately after saying this, the governor donated some 720 bags of cement to Kalkfeld’s SDFN wing, which the Ohorongo Cement factory had donated to the Otjozondjupa Region.
“Don’t use the donated cement from Ohorongo to extend your newly-built houses but continue with this successful national plan to build similar houses for those who are still on your waiting list,” Ipinge urged.
He also called on the Otjozondjupa Regional Council Chairperson, Steve Biko Boois, who was present at the event, to see to it that in two weeks’ time, the council sits and approves the servicing of more plots at Kalkfeld.
“I am impressed with these houses. This is a shining example for the nation to look at and emulate.
“I therefore call upon all local authority councils in my region to wholeheartedly support the shack dweller concept; it really works,” Ipinge said with joy.
A beneficiary, Josephine Doeses, said Government must inject more money and technical expertise for the federation to continue building more quality houses for all Namibians.
“I am happy to own a house, it was just a dream. Many Namibians need shelter for themselves.
“This project is real; Government must put its weight behind it for all of us to have at least a one-bedroom house to live in,” she said.
Doeses, 44, also called on Namibians to become members of the SDFN so that they can “speak with one voice” to Government.
Members of the SDFN from the Zambezi, Omusati, Ohangwena, Oshana, Oshikoto, Erongo, Omaheke, Khomas, Kunene, //Karas, Hardap and Otjozondjupa regions witnessed the official handing over of the houses.
Some local authority councillors from Outjo, Karibib, Otjiwarongo and Arandis also attended the event.