WALVIS BAY, 21 SEP – The Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia (SDFN) with the Namibia Housing Action Group (NHAG) and the Association of Local Authorities in Namibia (ALAN) on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding on affordable housing.
The six-year (2018-2023) agreement aims to ensure increased secure tenure, basic services and decent shelter for low-income communities in local authorities in Namibia.
Speaking on behalf of SDFN at the event, NHAG Co-Director, Heinrich Amushila said the agreement comes at a time when the citizens are calling for new innovations and strategies to address the affordable land and housing problem.
“In order to accelerate and scale, we need to engage ourselves and spend more on programmes that are responsive to the needs of the people,” Amushila said.
Some of the agreement’s objectives include contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals, the Urban Agenda and Vision 2030 and improving and promoting continuity in the working partnership between the local authorities, the SDFN and NHAG, amongst others.
ALAN president, Katrina Shimbulu, in a speech read on her behalf, noted that these objectives speak to the national policies as per the Local Authorities Act of 1992, which provides for the establishment of housing schemes by a municipal or town councils, with the approval of the minister.
On his part, ALAN vice president Gabriel Freyer commended Walvis Bay’s success, noting that their achievement of constructing over 200 houses, would mainly be expected from an entire region.
The federation also managed to construct 100 houses in a period of three months.
SDFN is a network of saving groups in Namibia organised in 808 groups with over 27 000 members countrywide, of which 3 400 are from Walvis Bay.
The group has saved over N.dollars 29 million (N.dollars 7,5 million Walvis Bay) and has managed to build over 49 000 houses across the country since its establishment in 1998, with the assistance of the line ministry and private stakeholders.
Wavis Bay MegaBuild Manager, Cobus Bosman in a joint statement by the partners First National Bank, Ohorongo Cement and Pupkewitz, stated that effective partnerships are important for a sustainable future.
He added that their involvement in the initiative is to support the government’s developmental policies that are geared towards solving the nation’s pressing challenges such as affordable housing.