OTC allocates land to low-income-earners

The Ongwediva Town Council (OTC) has set aside 494 plots for sale to low and medium-income-earners in the northern town in a bid to avert housing shortages and drive the Mass Housing project launched by Government last year through the National Housing Enterprise (NHE).
The national mass housing project was implemented to build about 8000 affordable houses in all the 14 regional capitals. However, Ongwediva was not targeted as part of that project.
The Public Relations’ Officer of the town, Andreas Utoni told The Villager that the council has acquired 165 serviced plots for the low-income-earners, while the other 329 plots will be allocated to the middle-income earners at the Efidi settlement.
The council has also identified virgin land covering over 50,000 hectares for residential purposes in the area, although Central Government is yet to finance it.
“The available land for housing will be allocated according to the number of people on the waiting list. Once we are done with the servicing of land, the beneficiaries will receive their plots on a first-come, first- served basis,” explained Utoni.
The move to allocate land by the OTC comes at a time when demand for the scarce commodity has been rising countrywide, with agitations from land activists for government to speed up land delivery in urban areas.
Utoni added that the middle-income earners who are residents of Ongwediva will have to buy their erven at a set price range of about N$8, 00 per square meter, while low-income earners will have to fork out N$4, 00 per square meter.
“The town council is aware of the land issue, and will try with the little funds that it sources from the residents and the central government to allocate as much as possible land to the residents,” he stated.
During the 2014/2015 financial year, the Ongwediva Town Council had allocated an amount of N$20 million towards capital projects.
Utoni also told The Villager that the council was able to complete all the preliminary phases of the capital projects planned for the previous year on time. The council is thus currently busy with the extension of other phases.
Last year, the council allocated N$2 million for the development of a recreational park, while the renovation of the council chambers was allocated N$800, 000.
The council also budgeted N$1, 4 million for the tarring of roads.
The construction of the Oshiko open market was budgeted at N$138,000, while the expansion of oxidation ponds will cost council N$2 million.
An amount of N$3, 7 million was also budgeted for the electrification of the Sky and Reception areas, and the construction of the first phase of the fire station was allocated an amount of N$1, 4 million.
Utoni furthermore said that during the 2015/2016 financial year, the council was allocated more than N$97 million, of which N$27,4 million has been dedicated towards capital projects.
The formalisation and planning of the Omatando settlement has been allocated a total of N$600,000, while the construction of the Oshiko open market’s third phase was allocated N$300,000. The third phase of the construction of the fire station has been allocated N$2,4 million.
The third phase of the oxidation ponds will cost the council an amount of N$6 million, with the servicing of the Efidi settlement set to cost N$10, 5 million.
He said the servicing of extension 15 for residential houses will cost N$2, 5 million, and the replacement of the water pipeline from NamWater in Oshakati to Ongwediva will cost the council an amount of N$1, 5 million.
Out of the total budget allocation for the capital projects, an amount of N$15 million was sourced from Central Government, and the remainder was funded by the council.
Utoni said the expansion of the oxidation pond at Omatando has started already, and all contractors are on site for the construction of the town’s capital projects.
The capital projects are expected to be completed towards the end of June 2016.
He thus urged the residents to honour their municipal bills on time in order to enable the council to finance all the capital and developmental projects on time.