• April 5th, 2020

City should reduce illegal power connections

Albertina Nakale

WINDHOEK – Windhoek mayor Fransina Kahungu who recently moved her office to Babylon is of the view that municipality should provide electricity to residents in the informal settlements to do away with illegal power connections.
“Surprisingly, at the end of Moses ǁGaroëb were there is no electricity, you find the light. I want to bring my officials one evening to tour informal settlements. This one challenged me to say, why can’t we just provide electricity to individual houses. I can see the capacity is there if it was not there, those houses will not have access to illegal power connections. There is a lot of illegal connections,” Kahungu argued.
In an interview yesterday, she made specific reference to Nalitungwe, well known as Olukanda laMukwanangombe settlement in Moses ǁGaroëb.
According to her, the whole settlement is almost 100 percent electrified through illegal power connections.
Kahungu said these residents have money to afford electricity, hence the municipality should provide them with power legally. “We just have to give electricity legally. But we should not waste time. When I asked some residents, they told me for one to get that electricity, you have to pay from N$500 per month to the person who gave you power. I am asking myself, why don’t you give electricity legally, and then we get that money without that third person in the middle,” she contended. She reasoned that the fact that Windhoek rarely experiences power blackouts, it’s an indication that the electricity capacity is somehow sufficient.
Over 1 000 households in Havana and Okahandja Park informal settlements now have electricity connections to their homes since last year.
This is after the City of Windhoek and Ministry of Urban and Rural Development had an electricity switch on to 1 200 houses through a project that commenced in 2018.
These homes were electrified in Tobias Hainyeko and Moses ǁGaroëb constituencies after the City council decided to answer to the calls of its residents by investing N$13 million, which they received from the ministry.
The ministry committed another N$14 million to Phase 2 of this project, to electrify 1 000 houses for the financial year 2019/2020. The second phase has commenced in Otjomuise, One Nation and part of Havana settlements, with the completion envisaged for June 2020.
Kahungu also plans to compile a mayoral report with pressing issues brought forward to her office in Babylon to table it during the council meeting soon.
She said more than 100 residents have visited her office so far with the majority of them having raised their frustrations over the unavailability of land.
“They came in various categories and most of them are talking about land. They need land. Some are talking about broken toilets and lack of electricity,” she said.
According to her, there have been war veterans who came to see her, demanding a portion of land to be allocated to them.
Another group of needy residents also approached her office seeking an update on their application for the land they applied for during 2016.
“The municipality requested land through the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development on behalf of a group from Tukondjeninomukumo settlement in Tobias Hainyeko constituency for them to be given land less than 300 square metres. The approval was given in 2016 to demarcate land for them. These are people living with disabilities. Up to now, the municipality did nothing,” she said.
The mayor expressed her gratitude on the manner the residents are approaching her office seeking municipal services such as electricity, potable water, sanitation, and land.
Residents raised concern that the bills for December were exorbitant.
Equally, residents in the informal settlement also want a ministry of home affairs office located close to them, to assist them acquire national documents.
She said due to lack of national documents, some children are unable to attend school, while others who are really needy cannot get their monthly food rations through the government’s food bank initiative.

Albertina Nakale
2020-01-31 07:21:03 | 2 months ago

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