SDFN rakes in N$12.5m

The Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia has raked in over N$12.5 million in funds to service land for its members in an attempt to rid them of the binding financial difficulties involved with banks.
The Hardap Regional Council Chairperson, Edward Wambo, said over 300 plots were availed in the southern region and are currently be serviced at that cost.
“SDFN helps in an instance where you will not be bound to a bank or loan once you join the group. You will contribute a little amount of money that is required for you to own a decent house like any other brick house in Namibia”, Wambo said.
He added that the houses are of quality material and are in good shape.
“100 plots have been availed for the SDFN project and the initial budget was N$9.6 million to service the land however more money was added to top up the amount N$12.5 million has been invested in servicing of the land. Now the beneficiaries can say this is my house because SDFN houses are not bonded with banks”, he said.
The SDFN together with Standard Bank of Namibia has also raised N$1.3 million to build houses for its Rehoboth members during the Buy a Brick fundraiser, which was launched last year.
The houses in Rehoboth are already under construction, as the projected started last week on the first three houses, while the construction of the other 45 houses is expected to start this week.
According to  Regional Co-coordinator of the Namibia Housing Action  Group  (NHAG) Heinrich Amushila, the Rehoboth Town Council (RTC) has approved 51 plots to SDFN groups and as part of phase one, 48 houses will be constructed as part of Harambee Prosperity Plan. The cost of land is N$15 per square meter after negotiations with the town councilors early this year.
“Since (the) allocation of land we have developed a partnership with Rehoboth Town Council to mobilise members of the community also to benefit from the low income houses. The idea is to mobilize all communities to form saving groups and get their own land and build houses,” Amushila said.
He added, this partnership is looking at reducing shacks in Rehoboth by constructing low cost units through a self–help process.
Criteria followed to benefit from this project is that the beneficiaries must earn below N$4 000 per month, must not be owning land or housing units in the specific local authority, and must belong to a saving group and understand the operation of the group. Saving regularly participating in the activities of the group and should deposit 5% of the requested loan.
“In September discussion between the Bank and the Federation for the Bank to fundraise on behalf of the Federation’s ‘buy a brick project’ the project raised N$1.3 million that is used to construct houses in Rehoboth,” Amushila said.
However members will survey the land with the help of Gibson Marwa Land Surveyors and beneficiaries will engage skilled builders who live within the community. Construction of all 48 houses are expected to be completed by October this year.  These houses will be constructed in extension 8 near the grave yard The Villager has learned.