Telecommunications giant, MTC, this week unveiled funding totalling N$7.5 million towards low-cost housing and early childhood development initiatives.
The pledge towards the two projects was made through the Development Workshop Namibia (DWN).
DWN is a registered Namibian non-governmental organisation with a focus on sustainable urban development, informal settlements, and the disadvantaged communities that reside in them.
The ECD project will receive N$4.5 million for the next three years, while the low-cost land for housing gets a boost of N$3 million also per year over three years.
“The ECD project currently assists a total of 100 kindergartens in informal settlements in Windhoek, Oshakati, and Katima Mulilo. The assistance is provided through three major areas of intervention, namely training of kindergarten teachers; the provision of improved teacher and learning materials in ECD centres and parents’ support,” said MTC executive Tim Ekandjo.
Ekandjo further added the low-cost housing project will address one of Namibia’s fundamental development question - the lack of affordable land for housing, which takes the lead in exacerbating the mass setup of informal settlements.
“Because of this problem, over the years, we have witnessed an exponential growth of squatter settlements in Namibia, perpetuating inequality and inadequate access to basic services,” he said, adding that their partnership with DWN will make a difference in the lives of people.
Currently, DWN has signed agreements with six towns across the country such as Oshakati, Okahao, Opuwo, Keetmanshoop, Oniipa, and Karibib.
DWN’s executive director Beat Weber commended MTC, saying the support could not have come at a better time.
“MTC’s donation and commitment to support the programme for three years allows the programme to grow, assist a growing number of towns to plan and service land, and provide residential land for thousands of urban residents,” he added. Speaking on behalf of the ECD project, Hilma Weber said: “No investment is better placed than in our children, for the country and us as a society.
We are very grateful for this historic partnership and a very big thank you to the MTC board, management, and the entire team.”