Walvis Bay Town Council to focus on land development

WALVIS BAY: The dire need for affordable housing in Walvis Bay and Namibia at large, has forced the Walvis Bay Municipality to allocate a large chunk of its 2014/15 budget to land development.

The 2011 Population and Housing Census statistics indicate that 31.5 per cent of the residents in Walvis live in shacks, while 43 per cent live in brick houses.

During the tabling of the municipality’s capital and operational budget of N.dollars 248 million in the council chambers on Thursday, councillors decided that N.dollars 134 million should go towards land development projects to address the need for housing.

This money will cater for the creation of about 2 335 erven across all suburbs in this harbour town.

Approving the budget, Walvis Bay Mayor Uilika Nambahu stated that the serious need for decent houses and the loss of lives and properties due to shack fires at the town, necessitated the need for more land development.

“A lion’s share of our budget is allocated to land development projects to mitigate the huge demand for affordable housing, as we have seen to our greatest dissatisfaction how people’s lives and properties are lost due to shack fires,” Nambahu remarked.

Two shack fires in Kuisebmund earlier this month destroyed 20 structures, leaving over 100 people homeless.

The 49-year-old Laimi Iyambo, a resident of Kuisebmund residential area of Walvis Bay, burned to death in one of those shack fires.

In an earlier interview with Nampa, fire victims said their shacks caught fire quickly, because they are built too close to each other.

They all expressed that need for more serviced land to build brick houses or at least to build shacks further apart.

The second biggest amount in the budget is N.dollars 37 million allocated to infrastructure development projects such as the establishment of new cemeteries in Narraville and Kuisebmund, and resealing, tarring and surfacing of streets and sidewalks in all suburbs across town.

An amount of N.dollars 27 million is earmarked to community and social projects, such as the construction of a community centre and an old age home in the Narraville residential area, new taxi rank, satellite fire station and a municipal accounts’ payment office in the Tutaleni residential area.

Other projects include the establishment of industrial stalls in Kuisebmund and the development of new campsite facilities at Dolphin Park.

N.dollars 20 million will cater for service delivery related projects, which involves the implementation, upgrading and replacement of water and sewerage infrastructure.

This project will see the increment in the water capacity at the Long Beach Reservoir and the construction of a new reservoir at Mile 7.

N.dollars 13 million will take care of municipal vehicle replacements and additions.

The expected operational revenue for the new financial year is estimated at about N.dollars 314.6 million, while the expected expenditure is N.dollars 317.5 million.