Shack dwellers fed. wants share of mass housing project

17 Nov 2013 17:50pm
WINDHOEK, 17 NOV (NAMPA) – Apart from assisting the poor in building houses, the Shack Dwellers' Federation of Namibia (SDFN) is also helping in the development of informal settlements.
National facilitator of the SDFN, Edith Mbanga informed Prime Minister Dr Hage Geingob on Friday at the Old State House that her federation is collecting socio-economic information in informal settlements, and this Community Land Information programme is a solution to upgrade informal settlements.
This socio-economic surveys and mapping have already started in 48 urban areas, she said.
The programme is community-driven in partnership with the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development, Ministry of Land and Resettlement, Local Authorities and Regional Councils.
Mbanga said the SDFN has so far constructed 3 546 houses in all 14 regions of the country since its inception in 1998.
She used the meeting with Geingob to commend the government for the N.dollars 17,1 million grant to the federation, which resulted in the construction of 954 houses countrywide.
“The federation is the only organisation spearheading the self-help process in housing construction, and this process has proven to be affordable and efficient,” she stated.
Mbanga added that the federation had submitted a budget of over N.dollars 20 million to the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development to also benefit from Government's planned Mass Housing programme.
Through this programme, Government plans to construct 185 000 houses countrywide in the next five years, and has allocated N.dollars 45 billion for that purpose.
Mbanga said their budget is earmarked to construct 481 houses countrywide, as well as for the installation and reticulation of water and sanitation systems for 394 households, and the upgrading of informal settlements, among others.
While waiting for the budget to be approved by the line ministry, the federation has already pre-financed the construction of 79 houses in Nkurenkuru in the Kavango West Region, three in Rundu and 30 in Divundu in Kavango East, as well as 20 in Grootfontein and one in the Otjozondjupa Region with a loan from the Urban Poor Fund of Shack Dwellers International.
The federation also just completed 46 houses in Omaruru this year, and Mbanga invited the Prime Minister to officially hand over the houses to the owners in March 2014.
On his part, Geingob commended the federation for a remarkable job in providing houses to the poor.
“I must congratulate you. You are doing well in providing houses to the needy. I would like to pay a familiarisation visit to some of your projects,” he said.
Geingob also encouraged the federation to organise itself in order to benefit from the government’s mass housing project.