Dolam Residents to Press for Damages

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By Sbu Mjikeliso WINDHOEK The decision by the Windhoek City Council not to compensate residents of Dolam who were affected by floods has resulted in them planning a protest march against the municipality today. This follows an investigation by municipal assessors that revealed that the city council is not to blame for the damage caused by floods that hit the Dolam area in Katutura earlier this month. The Dolam residents demanded an undisclosed amount of money as compensation from the municipality on the grounds that the damage to their property and personal belongings was a result of construction work on the new-look Sam Nujoma stadium. However, the assessors found that an unidentified nearby bridge, which was over-flowing, was largely to blame. They also declared that the houses were in good condition prior to being washed away by the floods, further shifting the blame from the city council. Nevertheless, the residents refuse to take this lying down, hence the decision to stage the demonstration today at the stadium. Nadia Ihuhua, human rights defender from the National Society for Human Rights (NSHR), said: “The residents are considering taking legal action against the Windhoek City Council through the Legal Assistance Centre in an effort to get their desired compensation.” As matters stand, the residents are yet to be allocated a secure permanent residential area by the municipality. “The people squatting at the Sam Nujoma stadium are starting to damage the property such as the gates,” Ihuhua said. This further puts more pressure on the municipality, which is yet to comment on these events. An elusive Liz Sibindi of the Windhoek City Council yesterday refused to shed more light on the matter. Another concern that the municipality appears to be brushing aside is the effect that this conflict has on school children. This disruption cannot be healthy for their studying children, yet nothing is being done about it. According to Ihuhua, compensation would also take care of these children, but since it is not coming, they are homeless and missing out on valuable study classes.