Otjozondjupa Governor rallies behind Shack Dwellers Federation

02 Feb 2016 12:10pm
GROOTFONTEIN, 02 FEB (NAMPA) – Otjozondjupa Regional Governor Otto Ipinge has applauded the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia (SDFN) at Grootfontein for its efforts in making affordable accommodation a reality.
Ipinge, who made the remarks on Monday during a familiarisation visit to informal settlements here, said the work of the SDFN has the potential to provide decent houses for a vast majority of Namibians.
“I like what you are doing for yourselves. I like this programme because it is the cheapest means we have to build houses for everyone in the country,” Ipinge said.
SDFN is a network of community-led savings groups working incrementally to secure affordable land, shelter and infrastructure services for low-income urban households across all 14 regions of Namibia.
The federation provides low-cost houses and involves the would-be owners in the construction process.
The governor affirmed his office’s support to the provision of decent low-cost housing in the Otjozondjupa Region, especially to initiatives such as the SDFN.
He visited the Blikkiesdorp informal settlement, where the majority of SDFN houses are built; and the Grootfontein single quarters.
During his dialogue with members of the SDFN, Ipinge said the programme needs full support from Government and private companies.
Ipinge suggested that housing projects like the one administered by the SDFN needs to be prioritised by all local authorities in the region, adding that land must be given to SDFN members for free.
On his part, Heinrich Amushila who assists members of the federation at Grootfontein and Bukalo in the Zambezi Region to build their own houses, said about 46 brick houses at Grootfontein are under construction and expected to be completed this year.
“We started building here at Grootfontein some two years ago and 46 new brick houses are expected to be completed and given to the owners who are members,” he said.
Amushila explained that a one-bedroom house with a kitchen, lounge and toilet is built at a cost of N.dollars 30 000 by the federation.
He said those who intend to extend their houses can do so as their plots are approximately 300 square metres.
Grootfontein mayor Absai Haimene on Monday said the entire Blikkiesdorp is expected to be electrified once the houses are completed.
Ipinge on Monday started his two-week familiarisation visit to various parts of constituencies in the region.
He is expected to visit Otavi on Wednesday and Thursday, while residents of Okakarara and Okahandja can expect to see him next week.
Ipinge will conclude his constituency visits with the Omatako Constituency on 15 and 16 February 2016.
He said his visits to constituencies are aimed at understanding the business operations of the local and regional councils there, and to see for himself whether residents in informal settlement areas receive basic services such as water and electricity.
He was accompanied by his Special Advisor Moses !Omeb, all seven local authority councillors for Grootfontein, Otjozondjupa Regional Council Chairman Julius Neumbo and Grootfontein Constituency Councillor Nelao Amagulu.