Opuwo to hand over mass houses

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Alvine Kapitako

Windhoek-Opuwo Town Council will hand over the first 15 houses constructed under the mass housing programme to residents next month. Acting CEO of Opuwo Town Council, Abel Katjoho yesterday said construction of the houses that started in 2014 was very slow.

The remaining 38 houses are yet to be completed and handed over, Katjoho said. “But now at least the construction of the 15 houses is done and we are just waiting for a date to hand over the houses to the beneficiaries,” he added.

He said they are waiting for confirmation from the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development to confirm the availability of the minister, so she could travel to the town and officiate at the handover.

Katjoho explained that there are many people on the waiting list for housing in the town. At present there are 1,200 people, excluding those who applied through the Build Together programme, said Katjoho. “The disadvantage is that we do not have a lot of serviced land available and servicing land is expensive,” Katjoho noted.

Further, he said there are many people who have resorted to grabbing land to construct their own houses, be it shacks or brick houses. “It’s a challenge and we are looking at ways to address the housing problem for residents,” he said.

He further said Opuwo, as a developing town, attracts people from various villages and towns and this adds to the demand for housing.

“We have a vision to develop the town in the next three years and we want to construct at least 300 houses. The goal is always to do more, but if we can construct 300 houses in the next three years we would have achieved [our goal],” said Katjoho, who noted that the operational budget of the town council, as well as that of capital projects were not really sufficient.

“But we have to work with what we have,” he said, adding that the town council envisions creating at least one mall at the town within the next three years.

Touching on the challenges hampering development at the town, Katjoho said many young people have resorted to intoxicating themselves with alcohol, because of the lack of jobs and other opportunities.

Katjoho also mentioned that residents are not very cautious about littering and hence the town is generally not very clean, but he was swift to add that it is something the town council is working on.

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