Keetmanshoop-Wood carvers have expressed their gratitude to the Keetmanshoop Municipality for what they call an improvement to their lives after they received residential erven last December.
The seven carvers of Ruhepo Woodcarving cc have lived in huts covered with plastic materials along the B1 road, with their wives and children, and they said although it wasn’t safe especially for their children they had nowhere else to go, until the municipality came to their rescue.
They say with the new plots at Ileni settlement they will now be able to build decent shelter for their families, while their children will be able to play freely and in the near future access services such as electricity, which many hope will also enhance their children’s performance in school.
A happy John Mukitji narrated to New Era the hardships of living alongside the road, stating that besides not having toilet facilities and without electricity, their huts are easily accessible and safety has always been a major concern, noting that they feared the worst each and every day, as the area is unsafe, especially for their families.
“We are happy to have received these plots – we not only feel safe at our new places but I believe this will enable our children who are in school to perform well as they will also be able to study during the night when we have access to electricity,” he said.
On top of getting the erven, the wood carvers are also set to be moved to a new area where they will do their business, and they are hopeful that their new business area will provide a conducive environment to both them and their customers.
They welcomed the municipality’s plans to move them to a better and safer place, saying they had past incidences where thieves have stolen their products and are now hopeful that the new area will be fenced off to fend off thieves.
Keetmanshoop municipal spokesperson Dawn Kruger said seven erven were given to the carvers after the municipality realised the dangers they faced living alongside the road with their families.
“We have given them the plots so that they can relocate their families as it was getting dangerous especially for the women and children,” she said.
She added that the move was necessary as the families were overcrowded, while there were not basic services closer.
Dawn further explained that wood carvers will be moved to a new area, although she didn’t mention as to when work on the new market area will start, only saying that the perfect location has been identified.