21 December 2017

Namibia: Rain Leaves Some Mass Houses in a Mess

Rundu — The strong wind that accompanied the heavy rains on Monday afternoon ripped off the roofs of some of the houses constructed by Green Cycle AIJ Investments under the government's mass housing programme at Rundu.

The roofs of three houses were completely ripped off their frames while the roofs of other houses were severely damaged, with metal sheets mangled in piles atop the exposed frames.

The owners are now in a quandary not knowing who is going to fix the damage, as the state-owned National Housing Enterprise (NHE), which was previously responsible for implementing the mass housing programme, says it is no longer responsible for the houses, since the mandate was taken away from it by the urban and rural development ministry.

"You know the mandate to construct those houses was taken away from NHE by the ministry. We can't say anything, speak to them," said NHE's senior communication and marketing officer Mutonga Matali.

The permanent secretary in the Ministry of Urban and Rural development, Daniel Nghidinua, who requested that questions be sent via email, did not respond before going to print.

Some residents are questioning the quality of the houses, saying cheap building materials were used, adding that the wind appeared to have only caused serious damage to the mass houses and not other houses in the vicinity.

Henny Seibeb, the managing member in Green Cycle AIJ, the contracting company that constructed the units, declined to comment, saying the questions should be addressed by the technical personnel who worked on the project. He then forwarded several mobile numbers of the technical personnel he said must answer the questions.

The rain also damaged the roof of the ELCIN church in Kaisosi just near the NHE mass house project, as it did to the buildings at Unam Rundu Campus and some houses in Kehemu.

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