OKAHAO – The National Housing Enterprise (NHE) has so far constructed 144 houses to the value of N$59.5 million in the Oshana, Oshikoto and Omusati regions.
This comprises 70 houses in Okahao at a total value of N$27 million; N$20.5 million invested in 50 units in Omuthiya and N$12 million invested in 24 houses in Ondangwa.
At the handing-over ceremony, the Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Erastus Uutoni, said the government recognises everyone’s right to an adequate standard of living, including adequate housing.
The provision of basic infrastructure and services, thus, remains top of the priorities at all levels of government.
“Therefore, decent shelter is a necessity of life. We believe it is justified for citizens as the sovereigns to expect to have a place they call their own, and to meet their dwelling and survival needs. In keeping with this reality and our commitment to the people of Namibia, housing remains one of our key development priorities as clearly articulated in our national development frameworks, namely Vision 2023 and the NDPs,” he stated.
Uutoni said, given the economic hardships, it is not disputable that the financial resources at their disposal cannot address all housing needs at once.
It is also true that the continued growth of urban centres means an endless need for shelter, hence the huge backlog that government must battle with.
“All these cannot be excuses for anyone to ignore the needs of our people. It is for this reason that we are making use of multiple interventions in addressing housing needs, taking cognizance of the fact that different people are affected differently by the prevailing economic environment. It is ideally desirable that there should be a variety of housing products for different categories of people – not only for those with the financial capacity to acquire houses in the upper end of the market,” the minister noted.
NHE board chairperson Toska Sem said the nation is faced with the daunting task of reducing the national housing backlog, and that NHE is engaged in premeditated efforts to address the country’s housing needs.
“I made an undertaking that the NHE board will prioritise the acquisition of affordable capital to ensure affordable housing is achieved for all Namibian people. I am pleased to inform you that these efforts are gaining traction, which will enable the NHE to roll out much-needed projects for the benefit of our people,” she added.
Sem observed that the housing conundrum can only be redressed through collective efforts by all stakeholders within the housing fraternity.
“We are all aware that housing serves as a cornerstone for socio-economic growth, especially in urban centres, making it one of the key sectors of our country,” she noted.
The NHE, she continued, has also intensified its engagements with local authorities and other key stakeholders to foster sound relations, which will result in the attainment of the national goals, as outlined.
The owner of Kambwa Trading cc, David David, highlighted that in delivering these housing developments to the Okahao Town Council, they recognise the deep impact on the community’s growth and prosperity.
“These houses do not only contribute to the visual output of our town, but they also play a fundamental role in uplifting the living standards of its residents,” he said.
David emphasised that in collaborating with the NHE, the ministry and the Okahao Town Council, they have laid the foundation for economic development and a sustainable environment.
“This framework does not only provide better housing, but it also promotes a sense of community and belonging,” he added.
A total of 174 locals were employed during the construction phase.