Landless residents grab municipal land in Walvis

17 Mar 2016 07:50am
WALVIS BAY, 17 MAR (NAMPA) - Overcrowding in Walvis Bay’s Tutaleni settlement led a group of more than 20 people to seize land and erect shacks on an unserviced area in front of the !Nara Primary School.
The residents said they started putting up shacks there in December 2015, because they want land of their own.
Several people stayed in the backyards of their families and friends, while others had to break down their shacks and move because their landlords want to build proper flats.
Some are sleeping in tents, because they have no money to buy building materials to erect their own structures.
Out of the five who spoke to this news agency, four came from Opuwo in the Kunene Region to search for work at the fish factories.
One of them, Packy Hengari, 24, said she wants her own place with water, electricity and a toilet where she can raise her daughter.
“It is unhygienic here because people pour bathing water and rubbish in front of houses, simply because there is no space to discard such dirt,” she said.
Hengari said more and more people are occupying the area almost every day, and not having any electricity they rely on firewood to cook food and heat water.
Another member of the group, 21-year-old Itenga Tjiumbua, came from Opuwo in December with the hope of securing herself a job. She is still unemployed and because she faced an accommodation challenge, she erected a shack next to that of a friend.
“There are enough jobs in Walvis Bay but we have no place to stay. I want to call my family from Opuwo to come here for jobs but where will they stay? There is enough land in Opuwo but there are no jobs,” she noted.
Unotjari Ngairo, 29 also from Opuwo, stayed with his sister in the Namport settlement before he built his own shack in Tutaleni.
“As a man, I cannot be accommodated by my sister forever. I must find my own place,” said Ngairo, who is also unemployed.
Another man from Opuwo, Kahai Tjindjumba, 27 said he has been in Walvis Bay for three years now, doing casual jobs but without a place of his own.
“I decided to come here where I can have my own room; those people (landlords) do not want us at their houses anymore,” he said.
Niitembu Abraham, 34 from Oshilulu village in the Omusati Region, came to Walvis Bay in 1997 and has been relocating his shack from one yard to another since then.
He said a municipal official tried to serve them with eviction notices two months ago but they refused.
According to Abraham and other residents, the municipality later allowed them to stay until serviced land is available where they might be relocated to.
“If they have serviced land for us, we will be happy. For now, we will stay here and wait for them,” Abraham said.
Walvis Bay Municipality Manager for Public Relations Kevin Adams on Wednesday said they have no knowledge of the issue.
“The information I have from the relevant department is that there’s no knowledge of any burning issues.
“The only issue that comes to mind concerns the current tarring programme in Tutaleni and other areas. Some residents/tenants have encroached onto the street with their structures and were requested to move the structures,” he said.