Noordoewer Housing Project Incomplete After Five Years

ABOUT 10 houses whose construction started about five years ago at Noordoewer settlement, have not been completed, while people are forced to live in shacks just few metres down the road.

The housing project, funded by government under its Build-Together housing programme, is a self-help programme initiated during the 199293 financial year to provide shelter to low and ultra-low income earners in the country. The programme was decentralised to regional councils and local authorities in the 199899 financial year.

However, in 2014 government incorporated the Build-Together programme into the mass housing programme to address the acute housing shortage in the country.

Ironically, just a few metres from these incomplete BTHP houses are nine houses built under the social housing scheme in the settlement that have remained vacant two years after completion and are being vandalised.

Residents who spoke to The Namibian said the houses remain vacant because they are not connected to the sewerage grid.

A BTHP beneficiary, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said she also had to wait five years before occupying her house due to the delayed completion.

The beneficiary also took the opportunity to complain about the poor workmanship of the contractors who built the houses, saying the walls have developed cracks.

“I live in fear as the house can collapse,” she said.

The regional councillor for the Karasburg Constituency, Paulus Efraim, said the BTHP houses could not be completed due to financial constraints adding that for the current financial year Karas Regional Council had made a budget allocation to complete the houses.

Efraim dismissed claims that the BTHP houses had remained incomplete for the past five years, insisting that construction only begun about two years ago.

“The social houses were also completed only last year,” added Efraim, dismissing claims that the houses remain vacant despite being completed two years ago.

Efraim also rejected claims that the completed social houses are not connected to the sewerage grid. He however explained that the local authority had decided that the beneficiaries could only move into the houses following the completion of the settlement’s sewerage network.

“We have already invited tenders to bid for the upgrading works,” Efraim added.

According to Efraim, consulting engineers indicated that the completion of the upgrading works on the sewer grid will take long due to some technical aspects.

GOOD THING

Despite complaints of poor service delivery and unfinished houses, locals have allocated themselves plots in the informal area known as ‘Paaie Kamp’ meaning Road Camp.

“Here you just grab a plot and afterwards register it for N$ 200 at the settlement office,” said David Goliath who erected a shack for his family in the Paaie Kamp area.

“The area in which we live is a health hazard, We live by God’s grace,” said Goliath referring to lack of basic amenities such as running water, electricity, waste removal or sanitation facilities.

“When we complain and request basic municipal services, we are told to wait. Until when must we wait? Are we waiting for an answer to come from heaven? We also want to live comfortably,” Goliath said.

Source : The Namibian