WALVIS BAY – The dream of finally becoming a homeowner is about to become a reality for the shack dweller federation members in Narraville and Kuisebmond in Walvis Bay.
At least half of the town’s residents do not have a place of their own to call home and have to resort to renting or squatting on municipal land. The local shack dweller federation has 4 364 members, comprising 2 941 women and 1 423 men. At least 85 percent of the members are factory workers employed in the fishing industry and do not qualify for home loans from financial institutions. However, the members have so far managed to raise a substantial N$1.9 million among themselves for housing loans and general land savings.
The group has been saving since 1998 when they first started with 39 members. They are now faced with the challenge of servicing the land behind Narraville that is expected to cost at least N$85 million.
The high costs of servicing the area is due to sand dunes, which makes the process harder than usual. It is against this background that the Erongo Regional Council through its Constituency Development Fund (CDF) decided to donate N$1 million to the members towards the servicing of land.
Former regional council chairperson Hafeni Ndemula said Walvis Bay is one of the towns constantly experiencing an influx of people from all over the country in search of employment opportunities. “Our people are contributing to the growth of the country and more importantly to the economic growth of Walvis Bay not as only as the port of choice of Namibia but as the fishing hub of the country, the sector which hugely contributes to the GDP of Namibia,” Ndemula explained. He added that the council is committed to contributing to the development of the communities and addressing the housing shortfall in Erongo Region in particular as they are looking forward to see well-constructed houses in this area in the near future.
One of the members of the federation Rinade Uiras said that they are trying to lobby for more funds, as they need to service 268 plots as the land is covered with thick sand.
Uiras said they already managed to pay N$330 000 to land surveyors. “Currently we only have N$1.9 million for the servicing of land and collecting money for it is a challenge as all our members are low-income earners, mostly factory workers. Hence, we are appealing to all business people, banks, fishing companies to help make our dreams of owning our own homes a reality,” she said.
Eveline de Klerk
2019-11-08 07:14:10 | 4 days ago