KAMANJAB – Urban and rural development minister Erastus Uutoni has implored local and regional council authorities to facilitate the provision of affordable and adequate housing for low-income earners.
Uutoni was speaking during the launch of the low-cost housing pilot project under the Kunene region’s Informal Settlement Housing programme in Kamanjab.
“Decent shelter is one of the most basic needs together with food and water and the provision of this basic need to the residents of the informal settlements has become crucial for the development and wellbeing of those communities,” Uutoni said.
The minister was also happy to note the return of the Build Together programme and commended town councils that already created a revolving account for loan repayments. “It is unfortunate that most private sector attention is still on the middle and upper-income land and housing markets.
Therefore, with this type of initiative from our local authorities, I wish to call for more private sector involvement in assisting with the upliftment of our informal settlements,” he added. Uutoni also noted, thus far, government has spent over N$50 million in the last five years to install water and sewerage reticulation in Kunene. The housing initiative is aimed at eradicating shacks in Kunene within five years.
The region has about 8 000 shacks. According to Kunene governor Marius Sheya, no new plots will be initiated, however, town councils will service land and give ownership to those residing there. Land will be sold for N$15 per square metre, while houses will cost a maximum of N$125 000.
“Although this is a uniform approach, town councils should implement action plans that suit them. We are not forcing councils to do what they cannot afford but to do what is within their means,” said Sheya.