KARIBIB – The Karibib Town Council is readying itself for major developments that will take shape at the town.
The envisioned developments are expected to create jobs, provide housing, as well as enable the town to be economically sustainable in the future. At least two shopping centres, a state-of-the-art truck port and a Feedmaster project are currently in the pipeline. Land has already been allocated to various developers with some construction expected to start as early as next year. Apart from these envisaged developments, the town will also embark on a mass housing delivery project that will provide decent and affordable housing to residents currently living in the informal areas of the small town.
Recently, the town council received N$8 million through the Targeted Intervention Programme for Employment and Economic Growth (Tipeeg) that will be used to service erven. During an interview last Friday the acting CEO of the town, Matjandjara Katurota, said it is the first ever money the town received under the Tipeeg initiative. Council decided to use the money to service land to speed up the development of the projects. “Although the money is not sufficient, 320 erven will be serviced from the 600 erven planned. The rest will be catered for during our next financial year,” she informed New Era in a recent interview at the town. She added that the lack of serviced land is one of the main causes of the proliferation of informal settlements at Karibib. “It is time that we do away with informal settlements at Karibib and relocate the informal residents to a properly demarcarted area,” she explained.
She also noted that the move would allow council to generate much-needed funds and to produce proud homeowners and not shack-dwellers. Katurota said most of the people living in the informal settlements could afford housing, since many of them are employed by government institutions. “The shortage of serviced land is the major cause and is the reason why most people are forced to be in informal settlements, while they can afford houses,” she explained. She went on to explain that 40 000 hectares of land will be developed and provision will also be made for middle-income earners, as well as for low-cost housing. According to her Karibib is currently upgrading and extending its water and sewage system to the areas earmarked for new housing developments at a cost of N$4 million.
This particular project is expected to be complete by December this year already. Also speaking to New Era on developments within Karibib, Councillor Uakutara Nguherimo said it is high time for the town to plan ahead and to start generating business initiatives that will ensure the sustainability of the town in the long run. “I am not saying that the mine will close, but we should be ready for the unforeseen. That is why creating a conducive environment is necessary. We need to sustain ourselves in the long run. If it so happens that the mine closes the impact on the town should be negligible,” he explained.