Members of the Nalitungwe Community Savings Foundation have become new landowners at Farm 37 on the outskirts of Walvis Bay.

The municipality has allocated them portion 12, which will need to be serviced. 

Nalitungwe Foundation consists of unemployed residents and those who earn a low income in the harbour town.

The members have been living in overcrowded backyard shacks, where deadly fires are common.

The group's secretary says such conditions forced them to hand over a petition to the council in 2016.

Moses Lidker explains that former governor Cleophas Mutjavikua told them in 2017 that land would be reserved for the group at Farm 37.

"On May 7, 2024, Nalitungwe land ownership was then approved by the Walvis Bay Municipality councillors. The long-awaited victory has finally arrived. The nine-year journey finally got us to our final destination, which is portion 12, which consists of 635 plots, each of which will cost each member N$48,145 payable for 20 years." 

The members have saved about N$400,000 for the servicing of the land, but that is not enough, said Palus Nikodemus, the founder of the Nalitungwe Community Savings Foundation. 

"We have to go into our pockets; we did not do much yet; now we need to sweat more. For us to live here, we are going to need services like water because you can't live in a place without water. No one will bring that water here but ourselves." 

Michael Jimmy, the personal assistant to the governor, says the municipality has responded to people's needs, and the approval is a commitment to decongest informal settlements.

He called on the private sector to help the group with the servicing of the land.

"So the government has heard your plea and plight, and as a result of that, the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development has been tasked with keeping this portion of land for the people of Namibia, especially Walvis Bay, who have for many years been subjected to high rental fees and have lived under bad conditions. I would call on the private sector and plead with them to bring their engineers so that we can accelerate the process of servicing this land and ensure that by the end of October, we have a house."

The municipality has previously encouraged other housing-saving groups to apply for land at Farm 37.

Recently, Backyard Tenants Association members celebrated council's approval of their application.

Photo Credits
NBC Digital News


Renate Rengura