Otavi residents build own houses
Representatives of Ohorongo Cement, the FNB Foundation and the Pupkewitz Foundation worked side by side with the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia and community members, when the construction of houses for low income families started in Otavi earlier this week.
Since the launch of this Public Private Partnership earlier this year, progress at the Otavi site was encouraging as trenches were dug, bricks were made and foundations cast. The first foundations were poured last week.
The three private companies joined hands to support the provision of community-built houses for low income families, by pledging N$3 million to the Shack Dwellers Federation in March this year.
The federation’s target is to build 91 houses in four towns before the end of the year. In Omaruru, the federation’s members are currently manufacturing bricks with building to start in August. In Tsumeb, land clearing is underway while the rest of the project is planned. In Tsandi building material has already been purchased and construction should be completed by September. In Otavi, the building plans are approved, the first foundations laid and brickmaking in full swing. This week, the first walls started rising in Otavi.
“The escalating demand for low cost housinghas reached a crisis point and requires urgent assistance, not only from the government, but also from the private sector with assistance from every Namibian citizen,” said Hans-Wilhelm Schütte, the Managing Director of Ohorongo Cement.
“Empathy for fellow Namibians and supporting government initiatives are the driving factors that motivated the companies to join hands in the fight against poverty by supporting the Shack Dwellers Federation” said Schütte.
“FNB deeply cares about the Namibian people, but is also places special focus on taking care of our planet,” said Angelique Peake representing the FNB Foundation. “Forming partnerships that can help us achieve our goal of creating a better world by using profit as an enabler to assist our communities, directly speaks to our strategy,” she said.
The core competencies of the three private partners are not purely Corporate Social Investment (CSI) driven, as it forms only a lesser part of its investment and business existence. “Instead of trying to run independent in-house initiatives, the three partners decided to work hand in hand with reputable organizations like NSDFN/NHAG, who clearly have a winning recipe when looking at their results and outcomes to date,” said Angelo Helmuth, the General Manager: Business Development of the Pupkewitz Foundation.
The Mayor of Otavi, Her Worship, Martha Shipanga encouraged the community to call on their children to stick out their hands and assist them with the construction of the houses. “Even if they do not have money, they can use their hands and help,” she said.