DRC homes get electricity

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DRC homes get electricity

SWAKOPMUND – Over 800 residents of the Democratic Resettlement Community in Swakopmund will soon be electrified.

So far, 20 residents have taken up the offer to have their homes electrified, and nine houses were electrified on 16 August during the launch of the project.

The project is being carried out by Erongo Red in collaboration with the Swakopmund municipality, which already laid the groundwork by spending over N$26 million on electricity infrastructure in DRC, and donated it to Erongo Red to ensure electricity supply to residents. 

Erongo Red committed a further N$1.5 million towards the project. Residents are only expected to pay a connection fee of N$2 500 to have the electricity installed in their homes.

The informal settlement was established in 1999 as people flocked to the town for greener pastures. It soon became home to thousands who could not afford rental properties or housing through traditional means, as a result increasing the town’s housing backlog to 22 000 units to date. 

This, unfortunately, makes the settlement prone to shack fires as people tend to build their shacks in close proximity to each other. So far this year, over 50 residents have lost their property due to shack fires.

One of the recipients, Linda !Nowases, could not hide her joy as she became one of the residents who no longer needed to collect firewood or worry about losing her home through shack fires. 

“I have been waiting for electricity for 20 years.  I can now prepare food in a safe environment, and my children can finally watch television. This is an indescribable moment for my family, and we are indeed thankful that this has become a reality for DRC,” an elated !Nowases added.

Another resident said that they are truly grateful to council and Erongo Red for making this happen for DRC. 

“The mere fact that I don’t need to struggle with firewood or stand in the sun to cook is finally a reality.  We can now use electricity for household purposes, and even start our own little businesses at home,” she enthused.

Erongo governor Neville Andre said the launch of this initiative marks a significant milestone in the region’s journey towards a brighter and sustainable future, especially for the community of DRC, who for years did not have access to electricity.

He noted that access to electricity remains a pre-requisite for sustainable development, and that “while there is still a lot which must be done to bring these services to the people, we should applaud ourselves as a nation for the good progress made in electrification. Our government has always been committed to bringing essential services to every corner of the country because we believe that every citizen should have the opportunity to have access to basic needs such as electricity”.

The governor continued that the electrification of the DRC informal area is not just changing the lives of a few beneficiaries, but whole families and communities. 

Erongo Red chief executive officer Tino !Hanabeb indicated that this electrification is not merely about the provision of electricity, but represents a transformative change which touches every aspect of the daily lives of people. 

“Once connected to the grid, it will open doors to many opportunities such as enhancing education prospects for children, improving the quality of life, participation in mainstream economic activities, enhancing safety and security at night, and many other benefits,” he said.

“The collaboration between the Swakopmund Municipality, Erongo RED and the Community of DRC demonstrates the profound impact that such collaborations can have on our communities. Thus, I strongly believe that the electrification of DRC is a symbol of the progress we are making in bringing services to the people, and we are not going to stop here. As long as funds are available, we are determined to do our best to bring these services to our communities, ”!Hanabeb said.

– edeklerk@nepc.com.na