Ongos Valley developers, who aim to eliminate Windhoek’s housing crisis by constructing 4500 housing units during the first phase of the project, which runs util 2023, and up to 28 000 over a 15 to 20-year period, have admitted that the much-awaited development has been delayed by four months due to the Covid-19 outbreak and its associated lockdowns. But housing construction is still expected to commence this month with the first homes anticipated to be occupied in March 2021.
According to Ongos Valley spokesperson, Abed Erastus, the unexpected outbreak of Covid-19 severely impacted progress on the construction site.
“The project has been delayed by four months due to the impact of Covid-19 and accompanied restrictions. The closing of our and international borders have meant that certain specialised equipment and materials have been delayed in arriving in the country,” Erastus stated in response to questions by Inside Business.
He however, added that overall progress is going well on site with the final stages of bulk civil infrastructure installations. Emphasising that the massive project is a proudly Namibian venture with only Namibian contractors being used on site, Erastus said that thus far about 800 jobs have been created through the project “with many more to be employed as we ramp up house construction”.
Said Erastus: “Our state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plant is complete and ready to be commissioned. The foundations for the new water reservoir have been set and concrete filling of walls will take place in the next few weeks. So, all-in-all, over N$150 million has already been invested in the bulk and civil infrastructure works.” He stated phase one of the project will see the construction of 4500 houses from 2019- 2023 and will create an estimated 4000 permanent jobs.
The ambitious project is the brainchild of Reagan Graig, an expert in the investment management industry who is now the chairman of Ongos Valley Development. Speaking to Inside Business, Graig said the immense project has been seven years in the making and is expected to inject more than N$4 billion into the local economy.
He added that because most of Windhoek’s bulk infrastructure is already over-subscribed it was paramount to lay down the necessary infrastructure to accommodate the new development.
Ongos Valley is being constructed on the outskirts of the Havana informal settlement in Windhoek, which Graig explained is the most natural expansion option for the city.
Previous reports state that Ongos Valley already has N$4.3 billion invested from multiple financiers such as the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN), Absa, Nedbank and Standard Bank.
Speaking at the launch of the project, Vice President Nangolo Mbumba confirmed the national housing and urban land shortage. Figures from the National Housing Enterprise estimate Namibia’s housing backlog at about 110 000 units.
Ongos Valley Development is also focussing on new road networks for the area, sewage and water reticulation networks, electricity systems, commercial and institutional developments, as well as new health care facilities and a police station.