WINDHOEK - The Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement has vowed to intervene in the imminent eviction of more than 200 residents of Goreangab in Katutura, mainly shack dwellers, by the Windhoek municipality to pave the way for a multi-million dual carriageway planned in the area.
This follows Goreangab’s affected residents being up in arms over the development, saying they have not been allocated an alternative area to move to. The dual road forms part of the allocated funds to the tune of N$50 million to the City of Windhoek (CoW) during the 2019/2020 – 2021/2022 MTEF (Medium Term Expenditure Framework) for improving living conditions in the informal settlements by the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development.
The objective of the project is to improve the level of access to basic services such as potable water, toilets, roads and electricity within 10 months.
Most of the residents in Samora Machel Constituency affected by the development are formally unemployed and derive their income from informal employment and small enterprises like shebeens.
Their protests follow a meeting convened last week by the constituency councillor for Samora Machel, Fanuel Shivute, together with city officials, who informed them they should move their structures to pave way for the road’s construction.
In fact, upon investigation, New Era established that municipal officials have already started earmarking shacks for demolition.
Residents complained that the decision to remove them from what is their homes came as a surprise since they were not informed in advance.
But in response, AR co-founder Dimbulukweni Nauyoma yesterday said there is a great need for everyone to have an understanding of what development means and what it ought to be, adding that development can never mean bringing harm to people but rather joy and excitement.
He noted that CoW is again failing in this matter based on the ruling of Judge President Damaseb that people can never be moved as if they are animals for they have greatly invested in the land.
“We will challenge the city on its actions to respect people as they are human and their dignity can never be violated. We will write a letter to the CEO of the city, whilst our ground forces will assist the people,” Nauyoma vowed.
CoW community development specialist Josephina Nambala last week told affected residents they have been in consultation with the councillor’s office and community leaders about the project.
She said that besides the dual road, there will also be another road to run from Otjomuise to Ongos farm, 13 kilometres from Windhoek’s CBD.
“That is why you will see many houses being marked. It’s not because we want you to shift your houses. We want to do it right from the beginning,” said Nambala.
“At this moment we are not going to relocate anyone. At most public meetings, you heard, the city said there is no land for relocation. You ask for water, electricity and toilets, but these services can only be provided if there is space and then the area can be upgraded.”
Dimbulukweni reacted: “The inadequate supply of land by the City of Windhoek has led to this inhuman treatment. If money is allocated for service delivery, why is it not dealing with sanitation given that HPP [Harambee Prosperity Plan] requires the government to deliver 50 000 toilets or rather electricity that affects these people dearly? Even with the provision of this road to the private development of farm Ongos, it will not be a primary beneficiary to these people.”
Nambala said the affected residents have cleared municipal land and built their houses illegally, hence they should move to pave way for development.
But this remark angered residents, who vowed not to move unless they are given serviced land on which to rebuild their houses.
2019-08-23 07:27:33 29 days ago