Oshakati informal settlements remain unproclaimed

02 Jun 2016 13:10pm
OSHAKATI, 02 JUN (NAMPA) - Oshakati Mayor Katrina Shimbulu says it is difficult for her town council to formalise informal settlements before the long-awaited implementation of the town’s master plan.
The Oshakati Town Council introduced the N.dollars 1.8 billion Master Plan in 2008 with the objective of constructing an embankment and deepening the rivers/oshanas in and around the town to mitigate heavy flooding during the rainy season.
The plan was initiated after the devastating floods experienced in Oshakati and elsewhere in northern Namibia between 2008 and 2010, which left a number of households displaced.
Central government approved the Oshakati Master Plan and pledged to help finance the costly exercise.
Residents of the Omahenene informal settlement have expressed unhappiness that financial institutions are declining to finance the construction of houses there, because the settlement is not formalised.
Shimbulu told Nampa on Tuesday recently the town council started to formalise Eemwandi, but could not complete the process due to insufficient finances.
“We plan to formalise all our informal settlements once sufficient resources come our way for us to be able to fast-track the implementation of our master plan and eventually create highlands where residents from flood-prone areas can be relocated to,” the Oshakati mayor said.
Oshoopala and Oneshila, which were the worst affected during the flood in 2008, have been identified under the master plan as the first two areas to be formalised.
“We need enough money in addition to the N.dollars 41 million the government committed to our master plan this financial year, if our plan is to save our people in the informal settlements from severe flooding in the future,” Shimbulu said.
Responding to complaints of housing development being hindered by the informal settlements’ status, she admitted that proclamation and servicing of the land in informal settlements is being carried out at a slow pace.
“This is because we fear wasting the little resources at our disposal on relocating people who live in flood-prone settlements to places that might also be affected by floods in future,” Shimbulu explained.