ONGWEDIVA – Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, the Minister of Urban and Rural Development Peya Mushelenga and the Minister of Land Reform Utoni Nujoma handed over the first ever land hold titles to residents of Onawa Township in Oshakati, Oshana region yesterday.
This was the first handover of land hold titles in Namibian history.
Last year, the Oshakati Town Council relocated 328 residents from Eemwandi location to Onawa Township, where they were offered formalised erven that were partially serviced. Yesterday they received documents that confirm the ownership of land under Flexible Land Tenure System.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said the land hold titles would enable the beneficiaries who are low-income earners to build decent houses that are connected to services.
“These certificates will enable them to provide them and their families security of titles to the land they occupy, also to use the title as collateral to raise funds from financial institutions for investment purposes and again to transfer the property, including through inheritance from one generation to the other,” said the PM.
She further added that the documents will enable them to upgrade the titles to freehold and build houses of their choices like their counterparts in Windhoek and Gobabis where the scheme is being piloted.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila urged other local authorities to follow suit.
She said Oshakati and two other local authorities have taken a bold step to become pioneers of government’s noble efforts to formalise informal settlements and ensure access to decent shelter for all Namibians. These plots are connected to water, electricity and the area is provided with sanitation facilities and access roads. Although 328 residents were registered for the land hold titles at Onawa, only 40 received their certificates. The remaining 288 will receive their certificates within two months.
Oshana governor Elia Irimari said the concept of innovative flexible land tenure has the potential to improve the livelihoods of the less privileged in the communities, just as in the freehold system where peoples’ rights to their land is protected by law which can be used as collateral for financial purposes.
“At the beginning of this month, we did a flood impact assessment with the office of the prime minister within Oshakati town and have seen the devastating impacts the flood had on our people. I am convinced that the flexible land tenure system is the one to assist us to relocate our people that are in flood prone while we formalise the flood prone township,” said Irimari.