In a bid to arrest the escalating housing backlog, the City of Windhoek (CoW) has approved the sale to its residents of 399 plots located in Khomasdal Extension 16.
The National Housing Enterprise recently said the national housing backlog is estimated at 100 000 housing units, which number is growing at an annual rate of about 3 700 units. It also noted that the NHE’s waiting list has dramatically increased from 18 000 in 2013 to 76 800 at present.
During the monthly City Council meeting held on Thursday, Deputy Mayor Fransina Kahungu said council approved the sale of the 399 erven located in Khomasdal Extension 16. Of these 399 plots, she said, 25 percent would be sold to young people, 35 percent would be availed to applicants on the council’s waiting list, while 20 percent will be offered to council employees.
The remaining 20 percent, she added, would be sold to the general public. It was also noted with concern that Windhoek’s population – especially in the informal settlements – continues to grow at a rapid rate, resulting in increased demands for serviceable land.
City of Windhoek spokesperson Joshua Amukugo recently reported that they had 39 290 names on their waiting list, including about 21 000 who are waiting for residential plots in low-cost areas.
Amukugo said to date just over 8 460 low-cost land applicants have benefited from the municipality, while about 18 243 applied through the Affirmative Repositioning movement.
In his State of the Nation Address recently, President Hage Geingob said as part of the Harambee Prosperity Plan, government plans to build 20 000 houses, service a minimum of 26 000 plots and build 50 000 rural toilets in the next four years with the aim of eliminating the bucket system entirely by 2017.
Geingob last year said – where necessary – government would consider expropriation of farms bordering on the city.
Meanwhile, in an effort to contribute to the national resolve to fight hunger and poverty, Kahungu revealed that the City Council is in the process of establishing a food and nutrition security system, which entails setting up community vegetable gardens around the city.
One of these gardens, she said, is the Olaf Palme community garden, which has already been established. It is located at an open space between Olaf Palme Primary School and an informal settlement in Goreangab.
The objectives of these community gardens include improving the nutritional status of vulnerable people, supplying vegetables to the food bank and providing for household consumption, thus contributing to healthier diets and reduced food costs, she said.
The target beneficiaries, she noted, are charity organisations, community-based projects with soup kitchens, churches and selected groups, like unemployed mothers with children under five years of age, unemployed pregnant mothers and people on tuberculosis and antiretroviral treatment.