It has been a bitter journey for residents of the Otweya informal settlement at Walvis Bay, from the time they lost their homes, and belongings in a raging fire on 26 July 2020.A child also died in the fire.Since then, the residents have been living in…
It has been a bitter journey for residents of the Otweya informal settlement at Walvis Bay, from the time they lost their homes, and belongings in a raging fire on 26 July 2020.
A child also died in the fire.
Since then, the residents have been living in tents, enduring inclement weather that also brought sandstorms and flooding due to heavy rains.
Yesterday marked another day of relief for Otweya residents, as they witnessed the groundbreaking ceremony to mark the beginning of constructing better houses for them.
Speaking at the ceremony, minister of urban and rural development Erastus Uutoni said the plight of the residents was urgent and the provision of housing should not be delayed.
"We promised that the government would prepare land and provide services to our people. This is the time to work. There is no time for long planning any more. Let us move forward and work hard. We heard the cry of Otweya and we are here to see the progress personally," he said.
Uutoni said construction would start after the ground-breaking ceremony, and urged beneficiaries to not sit idle but assist with construction in order for them to move into their houses sooner.
The 121 housing units will be allocated to residents who were issued ownership certificates in November last year.
Erongo regional governor Neville Andre commended the government for the swift response to help the community, while applauding the residents for their patience and cooperation.
"The government acted swiftly by supporting the community and started planing towards the realisation of this project. I am happy that we are finally here for the groundbreaking. You really went through a lot, and about two months from now, you will be owning your houses.
"Be committed, so that you can move into your houses soon," he urged the residents, and also said a playground and sports facility will be constructed at the settlement soon.
"That is what we mean by Otweya. We are indeed coming. We applaud the previous and current councils for their teamwork in realising all this," he said.
A member of the Otweya committee, Olga Birisamus encouraged the beneficieries to heed their leaders by working hard to realise their dream.
"We must assist the project managers to build these houses. We cannot just sit and wait. It was a hard time for the residents and a long road since 20 July, but we thank the government and especially our governor for the effort he put in this project," she said.
Source: The Namibian