Monday 12 April 2021
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Must I be buried out of a shack? – Oupa

By Staff Reporter

This is the question posed by an elderly gentleman, living in a corrugated iron structure, on a piece of land with 118 other people on it.
The piece of land was handed to them by the municipality, registered under the name ‘Habitat 2’ as named by the ‘Saamstaan’ association, in the Hakahana area. The group forms part of the Shack Dwellers Association.
Habitat 2 has been in existence since the year 2000 and the residents have been expecting to build brick structures from as far back as 2012. Some people are in many instances, forced to rent out their structures, just to be able to make water payments and to curb the effects of unemployment.
Habitat 2 has a single water meter that all residents who live on the piece of land and when the bill comes, it is divided among the number of souls on the property.
“It is our desire to each have our own brick home, with individual water meters,” the frustrated residents say. “We live here in these zinc houses, when it is hot it is boiling inside, when it is cold, it is freezing and when it rains, everything gets wet! We are also Namibians and we deserve to live with dignity. We want to leave brick houses for our children and our own pieces of land. What are we going to leave behind for our children?”
The residents of Habitat 2 are disappointed with the lack of progress and feedback from the municipality.
“We have been slapped with a water bill of N$1 million and they are using that excuse to tell us that we cannot start building permanent structures. On top of that N$1 million, we still receive a monthly water bill. The amount never goes down, we pay and pay, but it seems that the amount is never changing.”
When asked what it is that they think a solution would be, “the municipality must come here. The municipality is refusing for us to go to their offices because only ‘certain people’ can go there. They (municipality) must come here and see what is happening, they must come and see how we are living. When we have meetings and mention that we want to build our houses, they get angry. We don’t know where to go for help and salvation. It is like we are imprisoned here and we have nowhere to turn.”
The elderly gentleman has a heartfelt plea and presents his payment receipts to the water payments he has made. “I want to be buried out of a brick house. Must I be buried out of this shack?

They do not care about us, we are in the dark and we do not know what to do. What about my children and grandchildren? Please, we need help seriously,” he lamented.
Residents preferred to speak with anonymity.

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