by Arlana Shikongo

PRESIDENT Hage Geingob on Monday announced plans to temporarily relocate residents of informal settlements at Walvis Bay, Swakopmund and Arandis to unallocated mass houses in the coastal towns.

A mass housing project pictures at Walvis Bay in 2017. Image used for illustrative purposes. Photo: File

Speaking at the Covid-19 response for Erongo region at State House on Monday afternoon, the president said this is in an effort to decongest informal settlements of those towns, as the spread of Covid-19 has risen sharply there in recent weeks.

“The Ministry of Urban and Rural Development, together with the regional and local authorities will identify suitable venues or facilities with adequate provision of water and ablution facilities, where residents can be temporarily relocated,” he said.

Geingob said he has requested Erongo governor to investigate the feasibility of using the unallocated mass houses at both Swakopmund and Walvis Bay to place people.

“The governor has reported that 60 mass houses are available at Walvis Bay and 100 at Swakopmund. We will determine how to utilize those for this purpose,” he said.

Geingob said Namibia is currently dealing with two very distinct Covid-19 situation, with the one in Walvis Bay being the most prevailing.

“It is, therefore, necessary to apply rational and targeted interventions to respond effectively to both situations.

“The rising number of cases at Walvis Bay warrants additional containment measures to slow the rate of transmission and prevent the disease from spreading beyond the three local authority areas,” he said. 

As a result, the Erongo region is set to remain within Stage 3 of the state of emergency lockdown, while the rest of the country remains in stage 4.

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