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Shack dwellers get new houses

Published on: 15 May 2018
The houses which were built through the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia at Matiental
The houses which were built through the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia at Matiental

TWENTY houses were handed over to members of the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia (SDFN) at Mariental on Saturday during a ceremony officiated by rural and urban development deputy minister Derek Klazen.

The houses were constructed through a smart partnership between the SDFN and the Namibia Housing Action Group (NHAG), Ohorongo Cement, the First National Bank Foundation, and the Pupkewitz Foundation.

SDFN member Frederika Fredericks said at the handing-over ceremony that the federation has so far constructed 292 houses across the Hardap region. These houses are at Stampriet (27), Hoachanas (40), Gochas (58), Aranos (12), MaltahÖhe (10), Amper-Bo (4), Gibeon (10), Uibes (6), Schlip (4) and Rehoboth (84).

She said at Mariental, there are nine housing groups with 328 members.

The process to build the 20 houses at Mariental started with members, 80% of whom are women, making bricks themselves.

“We had to make our own bricks with the assistance of group members and their families. We, the beneficiaries, also excavated the foundations of the 20 houses. The best part of all is that we all got to the finishing line to realise our dream today to have a place we can call home,” she added.

According to Fredericks, the houses cost about N$32 000 each to build. 

The beneficiaries will pay off their N$32 000 loan over a period of 11–20 years, at a 5% interest rate.

She also revealed that the SDFN would build another 12 houses at Aranos and 11 at Amper-Bo, still in the Hardap region.

Klazen said when handing over the houses that the federation offered hope to many people for better, safer and more promising lives.

“More importantly, through your efforts, you have shown that there can be solutions to problems that we are struggling with every day,” he stressed, adding that inequality and poverty were undeniable features of Namibia.

He encouraged the SDFN to expand its housing programme for shack dwellers, and to share the benefits with all other disadvantaged communities countrywide. “Our nation is undergoing rapid urbanisation, and the demand for urban housing is set to increase, especially in the area of low-income groups,” he noted.

The government alone could not address the housing shortage in the country, Klazen said, adding that partnerships were commendable, as was the case in the alliance between the government, the SDFN and the private sector, which has delivered housing to low-income earners.

To date, the politician said, government's financial support to the SDFN has amounted to N$44,6 million that was used to build 1 863 houses countrywide.


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