Rural-urban migration strains service delivery at Gobabis

GOBABIS:

The influx of people from the rural areas to Gobabis has created a strain on the supply of utilities at the town, forcing the Municipality to fork out large sums of money on maintenance of sewerage, water and electricity networks.

Gobabis Mayor Sila Bezuidenhoudt, in an interview with Nampa on Thursday, said the municipality has had to deal with the sudden surge in population which has placed tremendous pressure on service delivery at the town.

The provision of affordable housing for the town’s residents becomes a challenge, and many people opt to set up housing structures in the informal settlements, Bezuidenhoudt said.

“The flocking of people to the town in hope of landing a job has placed tremendous pressure on the provision of accommodation at Gobabis. When people fail to land such jobs, they opt to settle at the town’s informal residential area, putting a strain on development initiatives in the area,” she said.

Bezuidenhoudt said the municipality has tried by any means necessary to accommodate the housing needs of the growing population through low-cost housing scheme such as the Build-Together and Shack Dwellers Federation housing groups.

“We have devised various schemes to provide accommodation, but the problem of the pressure on our basic utilities network is still there. There is little we can do as there is free movement of people in this country,” said Bezuidenhoudt.

As Gobabis is the only major economic centre in the Omaheke Region, hundreds of people hopeful for job opportunities end up in informal settlements when such job prospects fail to yield fruits.

The total Gobabis population is now estimated at around 17 000 and on a steady increase. The influx of people to Gobabis has also been blamed for the rise in criminal activities at the town.

(edited)GOBABIS: The influx of people from rural areas to Gobabis has created strain on the local municipality to supply utilities to all residents.

The local authority is thus forced to fork out large sums of money on maintenance of sewerage, water and electricity networks.

Gobabis Mayor Sila Bezuidenhoudt, in an interview with Nampa on Thursday, said the municipality has had to deal with a sudden surge in population.

Gobabis is the only major economic centre in the Omaheke Region, and hundreds of people hopeful for job opportunities end up in informal settlements when such job prospects fail to yield fruits.

“The flocking of people to the town in hope of landing a job has placed tremendous pressure on the provision of accommodation at Gobabis,” she said.

Bezuidenhoudt said the municipality has tried to accommodate the housing needs of the growing population through low-cost housing schemes such as the Build-Together and Shack Dwellers Federation housing groups.

“We have devised various schemes to provide accommodation, but the pressure on our basic utilities network is still there. There is little we can do, as there is free movement of people in this country,” she said.

The population of Gobabis is now estimated at around 17 000, and on a steady increase.

The influx of people to this town has also been blamed for the rise in criminal activities at the town

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