RUNDU – To remedy the overcrowding situation at the popular overcrowded Ndama Combined school in Rundu, the ministry of education has almost completed the construction of a fully-fledged primary school at the informal settlement.
The construction of the school started at the beginning of this year.
However, the contractor is unable to fence off the schoolyard at Erf 1920 due to some homesteads with makeshift structures that have, for years, settled in the yard earmarked for the school.
“I just spoke to the Rundu CEO: some people living there are within the schoolyard, and they claim they have been living there before the pegs that are demarcating the school plot were placed there,” said Kavango East education director Fanuel Kapapero.
“I was shown a letter by these people that they wrote to the council last year.
"The CEO just told me that along with some officials, they will visit the site regarding the issue to confirm what is really going on there because the contractor wants to fence off the area, but [he] is unable to,” he said.
There are about seven households affected by this situation.
“Most of us have been living here for almost 10 years, and we have nowhere to go. We don’t have a problem with the school because our children walk long distances to (their current) school, but taking us from here will be too much for us. You know land is a problem in Rundu. Council has seen that we have been living here and they even connected water for us but now they want to evict us,” said Hertha Nkumbwa, who spoke on behalf of the affected inhabitants.
“We are really stranded. The people who we got these plots from, who used to live here first, showed us where the plots earmarked for the school ended, and it’s not where our plots are, so we moved here. When the council came here last year, they placed their pegs elsewhere and now they came to place them at different positions, which is disadvantaging us,” Nkumbwa noted.
The affected families said they got the piece of land from their relatives and not from the council.
New Era also spoke to former suburb committee chairperson of Ndama West Moses Ngongo, who said people who went through their committee have settled on residential plots, as they were allocated using the available demarcated plots to which council allocated numbers, and the affected people, in this case, did not go through them to be shown where to settle.
“This whole portion was reserved for the school; even if you look on the map, it is clear. The 2012 map does not show any people living in this area. It was just an open space,” he noted.
Efforts to obtain comments from the Rundu Town Council before going to print proved futile.
It’s ours… Hertha Nkumbwa, who spoke on behalf of the affected inhabitants.