Poor workmanship bedevils Build Together houses

by Eveline de Klerk

Walvis Bay

Some recipients of the low-cost Build Together houses in Kuisebmond and Narraville at Walvis Bay are unhappy with the way the houses were built by the people contracted to build them.

Disappointed residents told New Era yesterday that the shoddy workmanship has dampened their housing dreams, as it seems they now have to fork out money for repairs.



The houses are part of the more than 33 houses constructed by Walvis Bay Municipality for less than N$100 000 each through the Build Together Programme at Narraville and Kuisebmond last year.

Build Together project was decentralised in 1999 at Walvis Bay. The programme was conducted in 16 phases, in which 1 004 residents benefited, while at least 874 houses were built at the town before the programme was absorbed by the mass housing scheme.

Loans allocated through this programme exceed N$20 million. The Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Sophia Shaningwa,  revived the programme as a standalone self-help scheme for low and ultra-low income people earning as little as N$3 000 per month, those with no access to financial credit and those deemed to be a high credit risk.

Residents said they can literally see the sun and moonlight through cracks in some of the houses.

When New Era visited some of the houses yesterday some of the tiles were already cracked, some taps were leaking and some of the doors could not close properly as they were not fitted correctly.

“We are thankful we have houses and do not want to sound ungrateful as we could not afford houses through the national housing programme or through a bank,” said one resident.

“However, we are also required to fully pay back our houses to the municipality and should have received decent houses.”

Another Narraville resident said despite being happy to have a roof over her head, her house has become a nightmare when the wind blows because of flaws in the construction.

“You should see how it looks, the sand flows in as if it’s water,” she said while pointing out that the window of the house was not fitted properly.

“We have already notified the municipality so that they can see for themselves how poorly the houses were constructed,” she said.

When contacted for comment yesterday Kevin Adams, the manager of public relations for the Walvis Bay Municipality, said they are aware of the complaints about poor workmanship on the Build Together houses.

He added that he would only be able to respond to the queries of the newspaper once they have consulted with contractors.

 

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