The daily challenges of Okuhoko informal settlement

25 October 2017 | Health

Lack of water, lighting and sanitation are the main problems faced by people living at the Okuhoko informal settlement at Tsandi village in the Omusati Region.

The informal settlement was created in 2013 and it is the area where people from other towns settle when they get find jobs at Tsandi.

There are about 200 women, men and children living in shacks which have been limited to 47 by the village council to prevent the settlement from growing uncontrollably.

Residents buy water from a nearby house or walk more than a kilometre to get water from a tank.

They told Ewi lyaNooli that the council should address the lack of water as soon as possible.

“Water is life; we have a problem with water here. As you can see people are going to get water at that house and it is not good, as we don't have the freedom of getting water whenever we want,” one of them said.

Some of the residents said they carry water home from work.

The village council's chief executive officer, Kephas Haitembu, said the council recently decided to provide water to Okuhoko informal settlement.

“They are going to be provided with water, as the budget was approved recently,” Haitembu said.

The community of Okuhoko also complained about the two pit latrines that the council had set up two years ago. They said the toilets have been blocked for more than a year.

This has forced them to relieve themselves in the bushes, which is a health hazard.

“Here we have small children and they play around and it is easy for them to contract diseases due to the situation we are faced with,” the community members said.

Haitembu said the council had not been informed of the problem with the toilets.

“We are the ones that put up those two pit latrines but the issue that they are full to capacity has not reached my office,” Haitembu said.

The community want the council to install at least two floodlights at the settlement, saying they are concerned about their security at night.

Haitembu acknowledged that the community's demand for services was legitimate but he said they should speak up at community meetings. Haitembu also talked about the fact that the residents of Okahoko would eventually be moved to another place where they would be allocated serviced plots where they could build better houses.