OSHAKATI – The relocation of 533 households from the Sky location to the serviced Onawa area has begun.
The relocation commenced yesterday and is expected to end on 31 May 2021.
There are 89 casual workers from Sky location temporarily employed to relocate the households.
Oshakati mayor Leonard Hango said the relocation is part of the council’s mission to formalise all the informal settlements and to ensure that all its residents have access to services.z“The council is giving them free plots. They only need to pay N$500 for water connection,” he said yesterday.
The exercise will cost N$1.5 million, including payment of labourers, replacement of worn out items and compensation of permanent structures. Hango said the council also provides for other services such as electricity. A private hospital is earmarked for the Sky location. Town council spokesperson Katarina Kamari said Sky location does not have a sewerage line but the council will construct three public toilets, which are funded by Development Workshop Namibia and six other temporary toilets.
Kamari said at Sky, the residents could not be provided with services as the area is too small and overcrowded and is not suitable for residential purposes. Although the council has engaged the residents prior to the relocation, the relocation was received with mixed feelings. Justina Paulus, who has been living at the area for over ten years, said the relocation is good because they will now have services such as running water and toilets.
“It is better at Onawa, but I just feel the council is not ready because the place is not well cleaned and some areas get flooded,” said Paulus.
Paulus also bemoaned the fact that they will now be far from basic services such as schools, hospitals and shops. Daniel Nananga, who has been residing at Sky for the past 27 years, said he is happy that he will finally have a plot in his name.
“We have our own plots and finally have toilets and water. Unlike here (Sky), we had to dig our own toilets,” said Nananga.
The council assured residents that it will provide sand and level up plots that are currently in low-lands so that they are not flooded.