6 December 2012

Namibia: Okakarara Set for Major Makeover

Windhoek — Major developments are set to take place in the Okakarara Constituency with the construction of a health centre and over 60 low-income houses at Okatjoruu and Okondjatu.

The health centre at Okondjatu will cost government N$8 million, while the over 60 low-income houses in the Okatjoruu and Okondjatu settlements will cost the government an estimated N$3.3 million.

Constituency Councillor, Vetaruhe Kandorozu, confirmed that these are government capital projects under the Ministry of Health and Social Services and the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development.

The low-income houses are part of the Build Together and Social Housing programmes of the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development.

"The health centre is slated for completion in about 16 months," said Kandorozu, explaining that the current clinic at Okondjatu would be upgraded to a fully functional health centre with a live-in doctor, beds for patients, an ambulance and up to three nurses, among others.

Currently, the clinic at the town only has a consulting room with two nurses and a doctor who visits every two weeks. The councillor said the projects will provide jobs for locals from the surrounding communities, mainly for manual labourers since skilled workers, engineers and architects would be sourced elsewhere.

Furthermore, N$880 000 and N$1.5 million have been allocated for building 22 houses each in the Okondjatu and Okatjoruu settlements respectively, under the Build Together Programme.

Construction is expected to commence early next year with about N$40 000 in loans awarded to each recipient, according to Kandorozu.

"This is the second phase for Build Together housing in both settlements," he said, adding that the first phase was successfully completed with 30 houses at Okatjoruu and 5 houses at Okondjatu. No contractor has been appointed yet, however Kandorozu said locals would be considered first.

"The community is happy because a committee facilitated the process and they got mostly what they requested," he added.

In addition, N$1.7 million has been allocated to construct approximately 20 houses at Okatjoruu under the Social Housing Programme. This is a programme for destitute residents, the marginalized and pensioners who cannot afford housing under the Build Together Programme, according to the councillor.

"The houses will be up for rent at rates as low as N$70 per month and will be payable to the regional council," explained Kandorozu, adding that the tenants will each be billed separately for water and electricity payable on a monthly basis. Kandorozu further explained that this is the first initiative of the Social Housing Programme at Okatjoruu following the 18 houses that were completed in the Coblenz settlement. This initiative is expected to spread to the neighbouring settlements of Okondjatu and Okamatapati in the near future.

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