The Deputy Mayor of Walvis Bay, Hilka Erastus, has appealed to the town’s residents to be cautious and remain on high alert for possible shack fires.
She was speaking at the monthly council meeting in Walvis Bay on Tuesday evening.
She said people who reside in informal shelters should exercise extra caution when using electrical appliances to ensure they do not become victims.
“Shack fires tend to increase during winter as temperatures drop considerably and it is of utmost importance that we take all possible precautions,” she said.
Erastus noted that the municipality is aware of the high need for decent accommodation and land for its inhabitants.
“Recently Walvis Bay has been in the spotlight with regard to the land grab that saw our landless residents clash with the police. What I can say is that Council remains committed to dispose of 1 000 plots in order to alleviate the demand for housing and land. We are currently in consultations with the ministry to finalize the modalities of the land delivery process,” she said.
She further stated that the regional and local authorities are hard at work and remain sensitive to the cry for affordable land, especially from the poor.
“While the housing and land issue continues to be a challenge, we should not allow it to detract us from our core responsibilities such as growing our economy. Walvis Bay is doing everything in its power to sustain the demands of the growing economy by investing in the necessary infrastructure.
“We dare not relax our efforts in this regard because we know they will attract investors who in turn will create jobs,” said Erastus.
“The more jobs there are the more money is in circulation to afford goods and services and assets such as housing. We know it is probably just a matter of time before the urban population outstrips the rural population in Namibia, thus we need to be fully prepared for that eventuality,” she said.