The Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy, Honourable Kornerlia Shilunga, who is also the patron of the Kalahari Homeless Indaba (KHI) – a housing initiative in the Kalahari Constituency – handed over various donations to beneficiaries last week Thursday, July 26, 2018.

Namsov Community Trust pledged N$120,000.00 towards the initiative, an amount equivalent to six low-cost modest houses.  KHI aims to construct 30 to 60 houses per financial year.

Other cash donations received include N$6,000.00 by businessperson Brave Kalimba and N$1,000.00 by the Minister of Mines and Energy, Honourable Tom Alweendo.  Honourable Shilunga mentioned, during the handover of the donations, that Kalimba would solicit more businesspeople to provide support in the construction of the houses. 

Therefore, his presence during the handover ceremony was to familiarise himself with the current housing situation in Blouberg then revert to his fellow business people.

Besides the donations and pledges, the Omaheke Regional Council allocated N$80,000.00 to the initiative from its value-added tax refunds of the 2016/2017 financial year.

Honourable Shilunga received other donations in kind, such as food hampers and blankets for 38 households from the staff of the Electricity Control Board valued at about N$17,000.00, which were all handed over to the beneficiaries identified by their traditional leaders.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Mines and Energy, Semeon Negumbo, also donated 20 blankets while Honourable Shilunga’s family donated toiletries and stationery for school learners.  A local farmer, Impresia Araes, also pledged a heifer valued at N$10,000.00.

Honourable Shilunga, during the handover of the donations, said improving the standard of living of the less privileged was close to her heart as she herself grew up in a vulnerable household.

Although Namibia has made some progress in uplifting the living standard of its inhabitants, some poor households still exist, Shilunga said, adding that Government cannot do this alone.  She therefore, urged individuals and companies in Omaheke region to support the initiative.

An assessment conducted by the Kalahari Constituency Office discovered that about 300 households in the entire Constituency were in need of decent housing.  Blouberg, a small community close to the Trans-Kalahari border settlement of Buitepos, is the most affected by poor housing the Constituency.  Other communities in need are Tsjaka, Vergenoeg and Drimiopsis.

The need for decent housing in the Kalahari Constituency has therefore, necessitated the KHI, an initiative of the Regional Councillor of that Constituency, Honourable Ignatius Kariseb, who is also the Chairperson of the Omaheke Regional Council.

The aim of the KHI, launched in August 2016, is to replace houses constructed with plastic sheets and dilapidated iron sheets with new iron sheets. The beneficiaries will construct the houses themselves.

Honourable Shilunga visited Blouberg on May 30 this year to familiarise herself with the project.