Shelter to improve housing

The Kalahari Homeless Shelter has taken action to ensure improvised housing and shacks get an upgrade

17 December 2018 | Infrastructure

Around 11% of households in the Kalahari constituency in the Omaheke region live in improvised housing or shacks.

An assessment conducted by the constituency office discovered that about 300 households in the entire community are in need of decent housing. Blouberg, a small community in the vicinity of the Trans-Kalahari border settlement of Buitepos, is the most affected by poor housing in the constituency.

Other communities in need are Tsjaka, Vergenoeg and Drimiopsis.

The need for decent housing in the area brought about the Kalahari Homeless Shelter (KHS), an initiative by the regional constituency councillor, Ignatius Kariseb. The aim of the KHS, which was launched in August 2016, is to replace houses constructed with plastic sheets and dilapidated iron sheets with new iron sheets and to construct between 30 and 60 houses per financial year.

First ten houses

This process began during the end of the 2016/2017 financial year with ten houses in Blouberg as a pilot project and is expected to continue for the next two to three years.

The patron of the KHS project and Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy, Kornelia Shilunga, visited the Blouberg project in May to familiarise herself with the work. Of the 35 households registered to be constructed, seven houses had already been constructed by the beneficiaries themselves.

The existing improvised houses, some of which have been constructed in flood-prone areas in Blouberg have been electrified by Cenored. Initially, the existing improvised houses were to be replaced with new iron sheets and a concrete slab at an estimated cost of between N$5 000 and N$6 000 per house.

Expert advice

Shilunga advised the constituency office to request a structural engineer to design an alternative low-cost dwelling to be used instead of the temporary iron sheets currently being used.

This is to ensure that houses constructed are permanent.

Shilunga dedicated herself to solicit support from mining companies and other private companies for the project.

During July this year donations of close to N$550 000 were received for the project.

To celebrate the project's success, a groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled to take place in January next year.

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