Otjinene residents praise Shack Dwellers Federation

22 May 2018 15:30pm
OTJINENE, 22 MAY (NAMPA) - Beneficiaries of houses under the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia (SDFN) have heaped praise on the programme for according them the rare opportunity to own their own property.
Alexandrine Hambira, an SDFN member who recently received her own house under the programme at Otjinene, said the initiative has changed her life for the better.
Hambira is one of 47 beneficiaries who were handed their newly constructed houses here on Friday, following the completion of these units less than a week ago.
She told Nampa on Friday she would have never be able to own a house if it was not for the federation, which encourages members to save in small groups towards attaining their own dwellings.
“If it was not for them, I would still be living in a shack to this day,” she said.
Hambira joined the SDFN in 2012 and waited six years before she could own a house by continuously saving money towards the purpose.
“It requires a lot of patience to own a house under this programme, as people save nominal amounts between N.dollars 300 and N.dollars 1 000 based on their affordability to be able to fully cover the cost of constructing their own house,” she said.
Another beneficiary, Turii Hangero, said the programme has put a roof over her head and elevated her status by doing away with the unhygienic shack she was living in.
She said it was a pleasure participating in the clearing of land, brick making and supervision of the construction of her house, which is part of the programme’s requirements.
“I participated in all these activities with pride as I knew what the outcome would be. It was a thrill seeing my house taking shape and eventually moving in,” said Hangero.
Forty-seven houses were handed over to their owners on the day. Each house has one bedroom, a kitchen and a bathroom and was built at a cost of N.dollars 27 000.
The SDFN is a network of 605 saving schemes with about 23 000 members throughout the country.
Community savings have been used to secure land, and to leverage additional government contributions, enabling the groups to build over 4 800 houses and secured land for roughly 6 230 families since its inception in 2001.
A total of 202 houses have been constructed at Otjinene under the programme since its inception.
The Namibia Housing Action Group supports the federation.