N.dollars 50 million for Windhoek’s informal settlement

14 Aug 2019 10:00am
WINDHOEK, 14 AUG (NAMPA) – The Ministry of Urban and Rural Development (MURD) has set aside N.dollars 50 million to improve the living conditions of Windhoek’s informal settlements residents between 01 June 2019 to 01 March 2020 (10 months).
This decision was taken at a meeting between the City of Windhoek (CoW), MURD and Khomas Regional Council (KRC) officials on 14 May 2019.
This information is contained in a dossier that was recently presented at CoW’s monthly council meeting in the capital.
“Faced with time constraint and a health emergency, about 72 per cent of the budget will be spent on curbing the onslaught of Hepatitis E,” reads an attached proposal titled ‘MTEF 2019/2019 – 2021/2022| City of Windhoek improvement of living conditions in the informal settlement’.
The project’s primary objective is to improve access to land and basic services such as potable water, toilets, roads, electricity and ultimately the security of tenure during that period.
To achieve this, about 2 per cent of the budget will be spent on strategic spatial planning for Farm 508 to give a spatial vision for the township establishment process that will follow.
An amount of N.dollars 3.5 million has been earmarked for road level design, while for the construction of water and sewer lines, N.dollars 4.1 million has been set aside for the Havana, Goreangab, Okuruyangava and Otjomuise settlements.
Meanwhile, 8.6 per cent (or around N.dollars 4.3 million) of the budget will be allocated to the planning and registration of about eight townships, including redesigns, where CoW has contractual obligations.
“The money will never be enough. That [N.dollars 50 million] is just money allocated for a specific financial year. It is not a once-off amount,” Khomas Regional Governor Laura McLeod-Katjirua told Nampa in an interview on Wednesday.
The latest statistics by the Shack Dwellers Federation indicate that there are 308 informal settlements in Namibia with 228 000 shacks which house around 995 000 people in urban areas.
“Urbanisation is not going to stop. Windhoek is the only capital city we have. The problem is that when people settle in these places, they don’t report to any authority. They just settle and demand services. This gives a lot of pressure on the government and the authorities' fiscus,” she added.
Lasting solutions to the mushrooming informal settlements include their formalization as well as the construction of low-cost houses though Public-Private Partnerships, she said.
“But what is a low-cost house and to whom is it a low-cost house? [It is not clearly defined]. If somebody runs a cuca shop, what is a low-cost house for that person,” the governor said.