SFDN Ongwediva kicks off Building Project

LOCATION: Ongewdiva

VALUE: N$ 14 000 000.00

Hon. Natalia /Goagoses, (middle) during the groundbreaking of the 21 houses in Ongwediva

The Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia launched the construction of 21 houses in Ongwediva on 28 May 2021. The construction of 11 of these houses were made possible with the support of Ohorongo Cement, FNB through the FirstRand Namibia Foundation, and the Pupkewitz Foundation. The Ministry of Urban and Rural Development contributed to a further 10 houses to be constructed. 

Jaspis Ndjago, Divisional Production Manager at Ohorongo Cement, represented the 3 partners at the event. He said that the event is an important milestone in the journey to provide housing for all, which is a direct result of joint efforts between various stakeholders, a true example of Public Private Partnership in action.

Shelter is a basic human need. A need we all share and one which helps with the eradication of poverty, as it is essential for a healthy and happy life. 

“We have seen countless times that families have lost all their belongings and even worse, a life, because of the circumstances in which they stay in mostly the informal settlements,” said Ndjago. One life lost is one too many and Ohorongo Cement, together with RMB through the FirstRand Namibia Foundation Trust, and the Pupkewitz Foundation is proud to be part of the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia (SDFN). For the past five years they have joined hands to enable the SDFN to build more than 290 houses, by pledging an overall amount in excess of N$ 14 million. 

These initiatives brought communities together, who jointly acquired land through saving schemes to build decent shelter. This has spiraled into a National network of organized communities whose dignity has been and will be restored.

Ndjago further complimented the Government of the Republic of Namibia’s efforts to ensure a boost in housing stock through its Mass Housing Development Programme, and the Massive Urban Land Servicing Programme. The support from Government, through the Twahangana Fund to the Shack Dwellers Federation, for the 2019/2020 book year was, more than N$ 20 million!

Hon. Natalia /Goagoses, Deputy Minister of Urban and Rural Development, officiated the event, and noted that the housing backlog can only be addressed through a collaborative approach and teamwork between the government, the private sector, civil society, and the general public at all levels.

The three partners also share the same values, and are most probably the most active on the CSI field within Namibia. This is the reason why they teamed up to support the Shack Dweller’s Federation of Namibia and the Namibia Housing Action Group, organizations that are working towards the provision of community driven houses for low income families. Instead of trying to run independent initiatives, the focus of the partnership is to work hand in hand with an established existing organization with a winning recipe. 

The three partners felt that through efficient partnerships and combined resources, they have more value than trying to do everything separately. Hence their slogan for this initiative: “FROM SHACK TO SHELTER, TOGETHER WE ACHIEVE MORE”.

From the beginning, the idea was to inspire the Private Sector to support such initiatives like the Shack Dweller’s Association.  They are hoping that others will follow suit, so that they can achieve the objective of supplying as many houses as possible.   

This project has the ability to have a lighthouse effect and could change the lives of many, many Namibians, whilst also having a positive effect on the local economy.

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