WINDHOEK- Forty-seven houses were handed over to members of the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia (SDFN) at Otjinene on Saturday during a ceremony officiated by the Deputy Minister of Urban and Rural Development Derek Klazen.
The houses were funded by Standard Bank’s Buy-a-Brick fundraising initiative aims at addressing the country’s acute housing challenge through the provision of funding to the SDFN to build decent brick houses for its members countrywide.
Klazen said the provision of housing in our country cannot be left to government alone, as government will not be in a position to raise and provide all the resources that are required for housing programmes.
He said it requires the support and involvement of other strategic partners such as the private sector and members of the public.
“We therefore have a collective responsibility to build a country we want to see in the future. I want to urge every Namibian to do something personally or collectively through reaching out to our less fortunate communities who lives in shacks and make a difference in their lives,” said the deputy minister.
He said currently Namibia faces a housing backlog of approximately 200 000 and this number is growing by around 4 000 annually.
It is for this reason, he said that he fully support Standard Bank’s Buy-a-Brick fundraising initiative.
He further emphasised the point that plastic shelters and corrugated iron shacks are not desirable in our country.
“We cannot have people living in such undignified structures and exposing our people to damages caused by fires and rain,” he stressed.
“We should not construct more shacks, but build proper houses and move away from shacks. I advise everyone who is living in a shack to join the Federation which will allow you to acquire a plot and become a proud home owner one day,” he added.
Klazen says it is pleasing to note that Standard Bank’s corporate social investments is also aligned to Government’s Mass Housing Development Programme; as well as the land and housing provision under the Social Progression Pillar of the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP) as set forward by President Hage Geingob.
“Every Namibian has the right to live in a decent dwelling, therefore I am appealing to the private sector to join hands in helping to address the housing shortage challenge in our country,” he said.
He said unveiling these completed houses and the launching of the construction of new houses in Otjinene should be viewed as a milestone and therefore, both the Federation and Standard Bank deserve a big round of applause.
Omaheke Governor’s Special Advisor Pijoo Nganate, Chairperson of Otjinene Village Council Councillor Landine Kauta and Councillor of Otjinene Constituency, Erwin Katjizeu attended the launch among others.