Rundu Mass Housing Project in Land Dispute

THE Government-initiated mass housing project at Rundu is experiencing delays because residents are demanding compensation before they give up their crop fields for the project.

The National Housing Enterprise (NHE) handed over the site for the construction of the houses in February this year, but commencement of the project has been slow due to a dispute over land between the residents and the contractors.

The mass housing project is being built at the Kaisosi informal settlement Extension 10 on the eastern outskirts of Rundu, where residents have their subsistence mahangu crop fields.

The NHE appointed Green Circle Investment Company based in Windhoek to construct 318 houses at Rundu at a cost of N$89 million.

Octagon Construction was subcontracted by Green Circle Investment company to do the servicing of the area, which covers 10 000 square metres.

Octagon Construction company site foreman Ivan Dama told Nampa on Tuesday they are currently only servicing 1,4 kilometres of land, which will cater for 50 houses only.

He said servicing of land for the remaining houses is on hold. “The owners of the crop fields want compensation before they give up their mahangu fields, and we don’t know who should compensate them,” said.

The servicing of the land includes installation of water, electricity, road and street lights.

Dama explained that the demands by Kaisosi residents is delaying them because they are expecting builders to be on site on 10 May.

Dama said the stoppage will delay contractors of houses to complete on time, and according to the contract they were given a minimum construction period of 10 months.

Several Kaisosi residents told this reporter on condition of anonymity they will only move once the compensation offer has been made to them.

“They must buy us coffins and bury us before they can start building houses on our ancestral land,” said one of the residents.

The residents are claiming that the area earmarked for the mass housing project does not fall under the jurisdiction of the town council, while the town council claims the area stretching for about seven kilometres from the town centre falls under its jurisdiction.

Efforts to obtain comment from NHE Corporate Communications Manager Eric Libongani proved futile, as he declined to conduct a telephonic interview with Nampa, and instead asked that all questions be emailed to him.

However, two weeks later, no response has been forthcoming.


Source : The Namibian