The Namibian (Windhoek)

26 February 2013

Namibia: Fransfontein Battles With Incomplete Houses

Fransfontein — RESIDENTS of Fransfontein settlement in the Kunene Region are frustrated by the incomplete houses given to them by the local authority.

Some doors cannot close properly while others have not been hanged and the materials used for building the houses under the Build Together Programme is of poor quality.

"I had to pay N$250 to get someone to install a pipe which was missing at the toilet," Bertha Somses told The Namibian.

Somses says her house is unfinished as a washbasin still lies on the floor because the brackets to mount it on are missing. Her bedroom door is also lying on the floor."There is no water. We paid someone to put in pipes. These houses are just incomplete," Somses said.

Renathe Hendricks told The Namibian that the houses are built with cheap material, as door handles break easily.

Just like Somses, Hendricks also paid someone to install some pipes in her house last year.

"These are containers we are living in," fumed Hendricks.

Although the interiors of Build Together houses at Khorixas are painted, the ones at Fransfontein are unpainted.

Another recipient of an unfinished home, Sandra !Nawases, recently received a 'final warning' to start repaying her loan.

"I am being warned to pay the loan while my house is incomplete. My toilets are still not fixed and there is no water," !Nawases said.

She refuses to pay the loan, as "the house is a mess" with walls cracking already.

"How must I pay such a house which is a disaster," !Nawases argued.

Neither Somses nor !Nawases has signed any contract for the houses given to them and they have doubts whether the houses in fact belong to them.

At !Nawases's house there is no floor in the bathroom and the roof leaks when it rains. In fact, the majority of the houses at the settlement have leaking roofs.

When the residents complain about the houses at the settlement office, they claim that their complaints are shrugged off.

Some people were allegedly given cement to fix parts of the houses that are incomplete. They must pay private builders from their own pockets.

"We are warned that the houses can be given to others because we keep complaining," one resident said.

Yoleda Marenga, Fransfontein settlement officer, refused to give any comment to The Namibian.

"I cannot speak to the media. Contact the Opuwo office," Marenga said.

George Kamseb, chief regional officer of Kunene Regional Council, said he was not aware that people had already moved into the houses. If so, he said, it was done unofficially.

There will be a meeting over the Build Together Programme at Fransfontein this week, Kamseb said.

One contractor for the Build Together Programme alleged that he had not been paid since last year although he had completed his work.

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