WALVIS BAY – The Walvis Bay municipality has ditched its plan to construct houses with alternative building material for the July fire victims now housed at Otweya.
Municipal CEO Muronga Haingura yesterday told New Era they have decided not to go ahead with the earlier tender of alternative housing, as Otweya residents indicated that they want brick houses.
“Hence, the municipality and central government, after consulting with the people, decided that we will permanently relocate them into brick houses instead of the alternative building material houses that we went on tender for in August,” he said.
According to Haingura, 153 families of Otweya are the priority at this stage and after they are relocated, those currently living at Twaloloka will be considered, as the site can accommodate 2 015 families.
However, 32 families were already assisted by Standard Bank because they are part of the Shack Dwellers Federation.
The families have been living in tents at an open space next to the main road after the devastating fire that left them homeless in July this year.
“As the custodian of the decongestion process, we have internally designed the housing units to be constructed and Otweya; residents, themselves, will provide labour during the construction of the houses to cut down cost. We estimate a one-bedroom house with a bathroom and an open plan kitchen will cost about N$50 000 to construct if residents assist with the construction,” Haingura said.
He added that the earthworks of Otweya are done, as well as the civil works, and that the procurement committee yesterday announced the successful bidder to oversee the construction of the house.
Haingura also said they were still locked in negotiations with the National Housing Enterprise over the piece of land owned by the parastatal and which is earmarked for the decongestion process.
“We are still discussing the matter with NHE. They will not just give us the land and it is understandable; hence, we are looking at offering them alternative land,” Haingura explained.
He added it does not make sense to relocate people temporarily.
“We can’t relocate people on a temporary basis; hence, [we] will be offering NHE land to continue with their housing mandate as well,” Haingura said.