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Oshakati residents urged to refrain from land grabbing.

Do not buy land from unauthorised people within the boundaries of Oshakati without consulting the town council first. This was the stern warning issued by Jackson Muma, public relations officer of the Oshakati Town Council, this week.

The warning comes after the mushrooming of illegal builbings within the boundaries of the town, which pose a threat to infrastructure developments already in place.

"Residents are building and erecting structures all over the town and town lands. They are building on top of main sewer pipe lines, main water pipe lines, in the roads and encroachment of streets. The risks involved in building a structure without building plans are unbearable, the water or sewer pipe line could bursts and the probability of losing life cannot be ruled out," Muma said.

He therefore called upon residents to submit building plans to the town council as contemplated by law for approval.

Muma argued that the illegal and unplanned structures and occupation of land are also some of the reason why the town is severely affected by flooding.

"Why is Oshakati hit by flood every year? Is it perhaps not the result of illegal constructions and illegal occupation of land?

He said informal settlements like Oneshila, Kandjegedhi, Evululuko, Shoopala, Sky, Uupindi, Mahenene amongst other are some of the settlement areas that could have not been in existence if building plans were submitted to council.

Following the recent decision by the council to demolish illegal developments, Muma said that council has given verbal warnings and subsequent written warnings to stop the building of illegal structures.

"There are some (residents) who were given verbal and written warnings but deliberately ignored laws of the local authority. Council deems fit to take drastic steps to prevent the mushrooming of illegal construction as contemplated by law and regulations of local authority. And we thank residents who stopped construction immediately when they were told to do so," he said.

Muma said that the council re-affirms its mandate and decision to continue demolishing illegal structures after occupiers of such structures are given notice.

"Council wants all Namibians, in particular the town's residents, to own properties in a formal manner where you could provide your asset if so wish as collateral to financial institutions to do business," Muma said.

Council will continue to ensure, monitor, execute and strictly implement the laws and regulations of local government to prohibit or prevent further expansion of illegal construction within the ambit of the boundary of the town," Muma said.
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Author:Absalom, Johanna
Publication:Namibia Economist (Windhoek, Namibia)
Date:Jan 1, 2012
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