RUNDU - Sikongo Haihambo whose contract was extended on Thursday for another six months as the acting Rundu CEO says the town council have started with establishing a buffer zone where shacks and unauthorised settlements will not be allowed to be set up below that line. This is according to the acting CEO will go hand-in-hand with establishing a reception area where low-income and no income earners migrating to town from rural areas will initially be accommodated before being given land accordingly.
“Yes, we have started with land planning, we have contracted a consultant and within the coming two to three weeks, we should be receiving our plans that are developed for us, we are continuously looking at other areas of our town that is now besides what have been given to this consultant on how do we prepare our people through the so called reception area,” Haihambo said in an interview.
The reception area is an area where people migrating from villages will temporarily settle when they move to town, before they go to the more formal and better area with better services.
“So we are going to have the so called reception area, as we speak, my team is on the ground to draw what we call a buffer line, a buffer line will physically indicate to the people or give them an impression that what they are going to do should not be beyond that line. We will put a process in place where people can come and bescreened before allocating land to them. At the same time, without waiting, we will seek to develop the area on the other side of the buffer line, which is the area that is being secured,” Haihambo said.
“We cannot have the entire town full of shacks and then expect development, we may bulldoze, we may knock down buildings but nobody enjoys that, so the best way is for us to stop the development of shacks before we even get to that particular point. Because the person that has put a shack there is not only the physical structure that is there, there is an emotional attachment, the person calls that little space his or her home, now you knocking it down, so we not going to enjoy it,” he added.
Haihambo noted those are the reasons council is trying to be proactive at this moment in time to secure land , educate community and provide serviced land.
“It may take a bit of time but should we sustain this, I have no doubt that we are going to win. But it has to be sustained, it has to be done seriously and it has to be a priority area, in other words there is no point for us to say don’t cross that buffer line but then we go to sleep for five years. What are we doing?” he asked.
“We should say don’t cross the buffer line we have made provision for you here or there which is in line with how we are eventually going to survey this area, however, on the other hand, we are providing services for surveying, for everything and we can do it either by ourselves or through developers and can then put up proper development so that we can have a bit of a balance to our town because at the moment we have lost it,” he said.