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N$9 million emergency shelter approved by Swakopmund municipality

N$9 million emergency shelter approved by Swakopmund municipality

By Adolf Kaure.

The Swakopmund Municipal Council has approved the construction of an emergency shelter with N$9.5 million allocated to phase one of the project, the council said after its most recent meeting.

According to the Chairperson of the Municipal Council’s Management Committee, Blasius Goraseb, the design concept for the renovations, additions and alterations of the facilities located in Tamariskia’s Erf 610, have also been approved.

“The approval of the design concept, the engineering and planning services department should be obtaining approvals from the aesthetics committee.”

“The construction of the shelter will be done in phases and the Swakopmund Municipal Council will allocate N$9.5 million to the 2024/2025 capital budget for phase one of the project,” he said.

All project documentation was to be finalized during the 2023/2024 financial year to conduct the bidding process.

The Municipal Council has invited an expression of interest through the public procurement process to solicit potential proposals on how best the facility could be utilized, with the bidding process expected to be concluded in April.

The proposal for the emergency shelter came after the Swakopmund Municipal Council experienced a high volume of fire cases during the past three years mostly during the months of May, June and July. Most cases are caused by electrical failures and sometimes causes are unknown.

In 2022, Swakopmund recorded 22 and 30 shacks in May and June respectively which burned down. The rapid spread of the fire is mostly attributed to the strong East Wind, which happens during the indicated months.

A life was also lost during this period. In addition, the Municipal Council has been challenged with accommodating the victims due to lack of proper facilities therefore a clear need was established for a shelter that can accommodate the fire victims.

Through deliberations, the previous House of Safety on Erf 610 in the Tamariskia Township was identified as a suitable place to accommodate the victims.

Previously, Erf 610 was constructed to house vulnerable children. Over the years, the facility became dilapidated to a state that it was declared not fit for accommodation.

As a result, the facility became vandalized to the point where the superstructure is the only viable element to keep. Most of the building requires complete renovation and possible alteration based on the new use.

The instruction to the architect is to make use of as much of the existing facility as possible with additions as required to fit the future use and improve it. Although the facility currently has a floor area in excess of 850m², to meet the full requirement of the terms of reference, it will be required to construct additional new buildings in phase 2 that will provide accommodation to single male and female fire victims in a “hostel-type” building and an additional multi use hall.

The architectural rendering of the prospective Emergency Shelter at Swakopmund’s Tamariskia Erf 610.


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