Ongwedia — The Minister of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development, Jerry Ekandjo, on Wednesday handed over five National Housing Enterprise (NHE) houses to their owners at Ongwediva in the Oshana Region.
Ekandjo also officiated at a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a further 215 houses at the town. Commending the NHE for building affordable houses, Ekandjo said that the Government identified and adopted housing as one of the five priority development sectors.
"This decision was based on the belief that housing or shelter is a crucial basic need for human existence. It is as important as food, water and clothes to human beings. Denial of access to housing can therefore be viewed as a violation of a human right," he said.
Ekandjo said the country is battling an enormous housing backlog and the diverse needs of the homeless. "I am therefore pleased that the NHE as a parastatal of our Swapo Party led government has, in keeping with its mandate, devised several corporate strategies to enable the company to deliver housing to the people of Namibia in a more efficient manner," he stressed.
The five houses where build at a cost N$2.6 million, while the 215 houses to be build will cost N$77 million. This project was made possible following the servicing of the site by NHE, as well as a partnership with Benz Building Suppliers who provided the bridging finances. The NHE also built houses recently across the country in places such as Katima Mulilo (259), Omaruru (25), Ondangwa (139), Eenhana (81), Nkurenkuru (61), Khorixas (44) and Windhoek (104) worth more than N$100 million.
According to the Chief Executive Officer of NHE, Vinson Hailulu, many more housing projects are in the pipeline for the towns of Walvis Bay, Swakopmund, Eenhana, Keetmanshoop, Windhoek, Rundu and Oshikuku. Hailulu explained that the partnership with Benz Building Suppliers is beneficial, since houses can now be built much faster.
For example the envisaged construction of the 215 houses at Ongwediva will be completed by the end of this year. Ekandjo also handed over 130 houses at Outapi on Wednesday financed by the NHE to the tune of N$27.3 million. Speaking at Outapi during the handover, Ekandjo said by improving the living standards of the people, the NHE is promoting security and a positive livelihood for citizens. He further said that buying a house is a long-term investment and not just the acquisition of a shelter.
"You should therefore be proud and value such noble undertakings you have made and guard and keep-up your investment dearly," he noted.
The event was attended by the Oshana Regional Governor Clemens Kashuupulwa and senior Ongwediva Town Council officials.