32 Percent of Erongo Residents Live in Shacks

At least 32,5 percent of the Erongo Region’s population live in shacks, while 29,9 percent are unemployed.

These figures were revealed yesterday by the National Statistics Agency (NSA) during the launch of the Census Regional Profile 2011 for Erongo. The statistics were derived from the Namibia 2011 Population and Housing Census report.

The report says that while 32 percent of Swakopmund residents live in decent housing, 41 percent live in shacks.

At Walvis Bay 43 percent live in decent housing while 31,5 percent live in shacks.

The region’s population has increased tremendously. In 1991 the regional population stood at 55 470 people, not considering Walvis Bay that was then not included in the census as it still fell under South African rule.

However, in the 2001 census the region’s population was 107 663, while for the last census conducted in 2011 the figure rose to 150 809 residents – translating into a population growth rate of 3,4 percent.

Erongo together with the Karas and Khomas regions lead the country’s literacy rate with 97 percent of literacy among people aged 15 years and older, with the Hardap Region is at second place with a literacy rate of 91 percent. The figures are higher than the country’s national literacy rate, which is estimated at 89 percent. The national average is however higher than the 65 percent literacy rate for Kunene Region, 73 percent for Omaheke Region and the 83 percent for Otjozondjupa Region.

The regional profile breakdown of the 2011 census on access to safe drinking water, toilet facilities and electricity shows that 96 percent of households in the Erongo Region have access to safe drinking water, while 81 percent use electricity for lighting. Furthermore, only 11 percent of households in Erongo are reported not to have access to toilet facilities and 15 percent use wood or charcoal for cooking. In stark contrast, only 52 percent of households in the Oshana Region have safe drinking water, while 88 percent make use of wood and charcoal for cooking.

The national figures show that 80 percent of households have access to safe drinking water, 49 percent do not have toilet facilities, 42 percent use electricity for lighting and 54 percent still use wood or charcoal for cooking.

The Governor of Erongo Region, Cleophas Mutjavikua, during the launch of the report said it highlighted some of the challenges the region still faced, but it also set clear guidelines as to how these challenges could be addressed.

However, he raised his concern about municipal CEOs and other top brass not attending the launch of the report. “This would have been an eye-opener for all of them to plan ahead, as we only act when a crisis strikes in our region,” Mutjavikua said.

He said to reduce poverty and unemployment those heading municipalities and town councils “are required to think more strategically and futuristically to address challenges”.

“We must focus on matters of national building, such as the servicing of land. We must make positive strides in areas such as education, training and the provision of basic services. Our core function is to ensure shelter, education and services and these must be entwined with other essential services such as housing and access to land. If this is not part of your performance then you are in the wrong trade, ” the governor spelled out.

Source : New Era