25 Jun 2016 15:10pm
REHOBOTH, 25 JUN (NAMPA) Standard Bank Namibia handed over N.dollars 1.3 million to the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia (SDFN) through its buy-a-brick initiative on Friday.
Speaking at the handing over in Rehoboth, the banks Chief Executive Officer Vetumbuavi Mungunda said 1 427 Namibians contributed to the initiative, with contributions ranging from N.dollars 5 to N.dollars 500 000. It was launched in October 2015 to address the housing problem in Namibia.
The initiative was borne out of a continental assessment of our social initiatives and their relevance to the challenges of our time as a country, community and bank. This initiative falls well in line with our theme moving communities forward. What better way of moving communities forward than to assist the less fortunate members of our nation to obtain decent homes? he said.
Management and staff of the bank assisted the community of Extension Eight in Rehoboth to produce 800 bricks for members of the SDFN to build houses. The Rehoboth Town Council sold 51 erven to members of the federation for N.dollars 15 per square metre.
Forty houses will be completed in the next few months, Mungunda said.
This is an annual initiative, and the launch for next year will be announced in due course, as will the town that will benefit from the next years contributions, he remarked.
Speaking at the same occasion, Rehoboth Mayor Christina Blaauw said in response to the rising housing costs and a decline in housing affordability, the council has an obligation to regulate residential development through urban planning.
The mere fact that the majority of the members are women is a sign that this gender is taking ownership of their collective role in establishing community development and economic enhancement through their programmes, she said.
Blaauw urged the local community, especially women to come up with solutions to the housing problem and join the federation.
SDFN is a network of 605 saving schemes with 20 400 members throughout the country established in October 1998. Community savings are used to secure land and to leverage additional government contributions, enabling the groups to build over 3 488 houses and secure land for roughly 6 230 families so far.
The patron of the federation, First Lady Monica Geingos received the funds on behalf of SDFN.