Oshakati moves to formalise Oneshila

30 January 2019 | Local News

The Oshakati town council has completed most of the stages to formalise one of its oldest informal settlements, Oneshila.

This is according to the council spokesperson Katarina Kamari, who said the formalisation process is likely to be completed this year.

Oneshila is an informal settlement situated between Eehenye and Evuvuluka locations in Oshakati East.

It was established in 1960 as a settlement for people from different villages looking for employment.

Residents have established temporary shelters, but the land belongs to the town council and they are occupying it without any form of agreement.

Since the early 2000s, the town council has been registering occupants, following a settlement upgrading project that took place in the early 1990s.

The council has recorded 9 767 households and a population of 16 000 people. Their homes are corrugated iron shacks, traditional and brick houses, while close to 1 000 houses were built through the Build Together project.

“Last year, around October, the council had a meeting with the community of Oneshila and the residents were presented with a new layout plan for Oneshila in the council chamber and the residents were happy with it,” Kamari said.

“The plan was then included on the management committee agenda of December 2018 and will be served at the first council meeting for 2019, which will be in February.”

A resident of Oneshila, Maria Ingo, said they are happy with the formalisation plan, which will offer them a decent town living standard.

She said not all houses at Oneshila have access to toilets, electricity and clean water.

“Here we have community toilets and community water points, however, there are some individuals who have their own toilets and taps in their yard. Those who do not have such facilities use their neighbours', but in the case of toilets they prefer to use the bush,” Ingo said.

“There are a few streetlights in the settlement as electricity is available, but only some houses are connected. Those that cannot afford electricity use candles, gas, paraffin and firewood.”

Kamari said in the past, the Oneshila community participated in various development activities such as building toilets and the community hall, as well as the construction of roads in their settlement.

She said people in the settlement are always prepared and look forward to getting involved in further development activities. She therefore urged them to cooperate with the formalisation process.

“Once the council grants the approval, the consultant will further send the layout plan to the relevant planning boards such as the Township Board and Namibia Planning Advisory Board (NAMPAB). The Ministry of Environment and Tourism has already granted the environmental clearance certificate for the township of Oneshila to be formalised,” she added.

ILENI NANDJATO

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