Shack Dwellers Federation meet Geingob

13 Apr 2016 14:50pm
WINDHOEK, 13 APR (NAMPA) - Government is considering to partner with the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia (SDFN) in its quest to make land and housing accessible to Namibians through the national Harambee Prosperity Plan.
“We have to partner with you because you are already working on the ground with the poor people in the country,” said Geingob in a meeting with members of the SDFN at State House on Tuesday.
SDFN members from various community groups led by its national facilitator Edith Mbanga met with Geingob as well as Vice-President Nickey Iyambo, Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, Deputy PM Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, Minister of Housing Urban and Rural Development Sophia Shaningwa and the president’s A-team of advisors.
Geingob said as part of the HPP, Government wants to remove shacks and replace it with decent houses, stressing that “the HPP is not to make people have luxury houses, but talks about the provision of shelter, schools and clinics amongst other services to the people”.
It is estimated that about 541 000 people live in 134 000 shacks in informal settlements in Namibia.
The President expressed concern that currently, big companies that have the expertise and equipment to service land charge the government exorbitant prices just to service land.
The SDFN, on the other hand, service land with equipment it hires and build houses for low-income groups in informal settlements countrywide at cheaper prices.
SDFN members make their own bricks for the construction of their own houses in order to cut costs.
In her presentation, Mbanga said through its self-help process the federation provides capacity building to its members in areas of bricklaying and laying water and sewerage pipes to enable them to work on their own land.
Mbanga said more than 20 111 members have saved over N.dollars 21 million to date and have constructed 4 200 houses in all 14 regions since 1998.
She added that from the N.dollars 30.6 million it received from the line ministry (Urban and Rural Development) last year, N.dollars 23.1 million was used to construct 1 136 houses, while the remaining N.dollars 7.5 million received in February this year will be used to construct 239 houses countrywide.
Its activities, she explained, are funded by Misereor (a Catholic Church organisation from Germany) and Shack Dwellers International, while the construction is funded through an annual grant from the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development.
Mbanga also informed the gathering that the federation's loan repayments stand at between N.dollars 3 million and N.dollars 4 million, adding that its other partners including the First National Bank (FNB) Foundation and Pupkewitz Foundation contribute N.dollars 1 million each. These funds will be used to construct 91 houses in five regions, including Tsandi with 10 houses, Tsumeb (30 houses), Otavi (20), Outjo (5) and Omaruru (26).
Standard Bank, she added, has been running a fundraising campaign for the federation to construct more houses, and an amount of N.dollars 1.4 million has been raised and will be used to construct about 40 houses in Rehoboth.
On her part, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila commended the federation and its members for taking the responsibility of their destiny.
“There can be no better development. It is this commitment that inspires Government and others to support you,” she said.