WALVIS BAY - The Walvis Bay municipal council has allocated the biggest chunk of its nearly N$600 million capital budget for 2021/22 budget to land development projects in Narraville, Kuisebmond and Farm 37.
The amounts translate to N$38 million for the development of Farm 37 that has the capacity to yield more than 30 000 plots, N$29 million for developing land amounting to 185 erven in Narraville as well as N$14 million for land in Kuisebmond that can yield at least 200 erven.
The remaining N$41 million has been budgeted for finalising and creating new extensions among others.
Tabling the budget during the extraordinary council meeting held on Monday evening, chairperson of the management committee Leroy Victor said council has the interest of residents at heart. “Housing has been a crucial element and we understand the needs of our residents hence we are prioritising housing,” Victor said.
He added that council, further allocated N$57 million to service delivery projects, N$38 million to infrastructure repair and N$64 million to social projects. A further N$19 million was allocated to vehicle replacements of the council.
Also speaking at the budget tabling, Walvis Bay mayor Trevino Forbes said the budget was drawn up after consultations with the public through a series of meetings that were held in May at the town.
“These consultative meetings highlighted the matters that council should focus on and what residents want. Councillors are now in a better position to plan better for future projects,” he said.
Walvis Bay has been battling the lack of affordable housing as almost half of its residents are living either in shacks or are renting.
The town is already under pressure due to the massive housing backlog that resulted in the creation of illegal informal settlements.
As a result, half of the town’s residents, about 50 000, live in backyard shacks and are subjected to deplorable living conditions without sanitation.
According to the Namibia Statistics Agency 2018 figures, the number of people living in shacks in Walvis Bay increased from 9 860 in 1994 to 28 000 in 2014, before leaping to 50 000 in 2018.