Namibia: Homes for Swakop Shack Dwellers

Thirty-two families who are members of the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia (SDFN) saving scheme, started the servicing of land for the construction of their houses at Swakopmund yesterday.

This comes after the Swakopmund municipality allocated two 5 000 square-metre erven to the federation.

Ndapewaoshali Nelenge (44) raised her three children in the back of other people's yards around Mondesa location at Swakopmund. Ten years ago she joined the SDFN and started saving money from her tailoring and kapana business. She works as a full time domestic worker.

"I have so far saved N$7 000 for the land and N$9 000 for building materials. I could have saved more but I still have to pay rent, school and put meals on the table for my children every day. I know I will be able to pay off the loan fast because I will not be paying rent to someone else," says an excited Nelenge.

Johanna Nembungu the SDFN Erongo regional coordinator assured the council that members of her organisation are not lazy and they will build the houses in a short time.

"If we are given land we can reduce the prices of everything starting with the installation services by ourselves which cost us about N$5 000 per plot if we do it ourselves. We are our own contractors," she said.

Nembungu is hopeful that more municipalities countrywide will make land available for the landless low income earners.

Windhoek has allocated eight ervens to the federation and the houses are under construction. Other towns like Oshakati, Okongo, Henties Bay, Luderitz, Oranjemund, Opuwo, Omaruru, Walvis Bay, have all allocated over 20 erven for the construction of houses for low income earners.

Coordinator of the Namibia Housing Action Group (NHAG) Heinrich Amushila says the federation members are also in the process of servicing 700 plots at Karibib.

"We have enlisted the service of a trainer who is training the community in laying the water pipes. We have already covered 3,9 kilometres," said Amushila.

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