OTJIWARONGO, 19 Mar. – The continuous expansion of informal settlements at Otjiwarongo has become a concern to the local authority of the Otjozondjupa capital.
Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Otjiwarongo Municipality, Adelheid Shilongo said on Sunday in an interview with Nampa about 2 000 unserviced plots have been allocated to needy residents in less than three years.
Shilongo said 2 020 other names of applicants are also on the waiting list for residential plots.
“Our greatest concern now is where we will find resources for the channelling of drinking water, land clearing and creation of streets for these new plots there,” said Shilongo.
Otjiwarongo has five informal settlements – Tsaraxa-Aibes, Telecom, DRC, old and new Ombili.
Shilongo said the informal settlements at the town are fast growing and they are about to surpass the size of the formalised suburbs.
The town has more than 60 000 inhabitants, of which the majority reside in the informal settlements where rates and taxes are not charged by the municipality, according to Shilongo.
She said it is for this reason local authority councillors will soon pass a resolution to allow for the formalisation of some informal settlements where the council can charge occupants rates and taxes.
The PRO said nearly half of the resources the municipality generates from rates and taxes now, goes into clearing new dwelling plots and erecting standing water pipes for residents in the informal areas.
Otjiwarongo Mayor, Bennes Haimbondi on 14 March 2018 also expressed this concern to the Kenyan High Commissioner to Namibia, Isaac Njenga in a diplomatic meeting at Otjiwarongo.
Haimbondi then said authorities needed to start looking into the establishment of mechanisms that could reduce the rapid growth of informal settlements in Kenya and Namibia.
Some residents in DRC and Ombili concurred with the concerns of the municipality on the growth of informal settlements at Otjiwarongo.
Kangezee Hengombe, a resident of new Ombili DB1125, on Sunday said informal settlements at the town are bursting at the seams because of the newly opened Otjikoto B2Gold Mine and Cheetah Cement factory operating in the Otjiwarongo district.
Ndapewoshali Frans said the rising cost of living at the town has forced many unemployed people and low income earners to relocate to informal settlements where they can afford cheaper municipal services.
The Otjiwarongo Municipality will hold a closed door meeting on 27 March 2018 to dissect the informal settlement growth. – NAMPA