… Hands over 243 houses in Walvis Bay
By Confidente Reporter
PRESIDENT Hage Geingob has urged the private sector to continue to work together with his government to achieve the nation’s developmental objectives, and the goal of creating a Namibian House, where “no one will feel left out”.
“Let us continue to march forward in unity, with vigour and a sense of urgency and do everything in our power to meet the social needs of our people,” Geingob said last Friday in Walvis Bay, where he handed over 243 newly completed houses that were constructed by contractors under the Massive Urban Land Servicing Project (MULSP).
Geingob said that in keeping with government’s ongoing commitment towards improving the livelihood of the Namibian people, as well as its declaration of an all-out war on poverty in 2015, his administration had launched the MULSP, to expedite its ongoing efforts, in terms of the servicing and delivery of residential land and affordable housing in urban areas.
“As you may recall, in 2015 I visited sites in Windhoek, Oshakati and Walvis Bay, accompanied by Ministers (Sophia) Shaningwa and (Calle) Schlettwein, for the purpose of the identification of sites to kick-start the implementation of the Massive Urban Land Servicing Project. Following our visits, technical officials then proceeded to craft the details of the project sites and scope. This process resulted in the selection of two sites in Walvis Bay, namely Extensions 5, 6 and 7 Kuisebmond and Extension 7 for the project.
“As a nation, we are still confronted with the challenges of poor sanitation and a backlog in the supply of serviced residential land, as well as decent and affordable housing in both urban and rural areas,” Geingob said.
“Tackling these challenges requires a concerted effort, and this is why I have endeavoured to rally Namibians, through the concept of Harambee, to join forces, in order to confront and address national challenges, which include residential land, housing and sanitation.”
The Head of State said that the national resolve in this regard has been accentuated through government’s national development plans and the Harambee Prosperity Plan, where these three areas have been identified as priorities for development.
“In this context, the government has launched various policy initiatives, and continues to allocate resources towards increasing the supply and improved access to affordable urban land, housing and sanitation. The houses that I have been invited to hand over on this site, and the land on which the houses have been constructed, have been made possible through one of our policy strategies, namely the MULSP.
“It is pleasing to note that a single intervention or project such as the Massive Urban Land Servicing Project is able to address several of our developmental objectives.
The tangible results that we are witnessing here are indicative of hard work, commitment and partnership between various stakeholders.
“The execution of this project is a showcase of Harambee in action and is evident of what can be achieved when people with a shared vision and level of commitment pull in the same direction,” Geingob said.
He said that it was equally pleasing to note that, while the servicing of the land was financed by central government, the construction of the houses was financed by the private sector.
“This is an example of the win-win public-private partnership that government is advocating. We hope to see these kinds of partnerships proliferating nationwide.
“In order to avoid the pitfalls of other housing initiatives, where houses are constructed only to end up unoccupied and subject to vandalism, I am pleased to note that the (Walvis Bay) Municipality has already finalised its waiting list of applicants and has signed deeds of sale with screened and qualified applicants. This model should be emulated by other local authorities and agencies that are tasked with housing delivery.”
Geingob also commended the team and partners involved in the execution of the project.
“Firstly I wish to thank the Minister Urban and Rural Development (Shaningwa) and the Walvis Bay Municipality and their teams for their leadership, commitment and diligence. I equally recognise the important roles of the contractors and financial institutions and wish to thank them for their partnership.”
Geingob said he also looks forward to similar tangible results from the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia, which has been given plots to construct affordable houses for its members in Walvis Bay.
“I also look forward to seeing positive outcomes at other locations where the Massive Urban Land Servicing Project has been piloted, namely Oshakati and Windhoek.
“I recognise that many more Namibians are in need of land and decent housing. Although we are faced with the massive challenge of providing adequate and affordable serviced urban land, housing and improved sanitation, we must realise that these challenges are not insurmountable. We will hold hands and stay on course, knowing that although it may take some time and huge resources to address the needs of the people, through our common sense of purpose, we will continue to deliver, deliver and deliver,” Geingob added.
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