Residents Build on unserviced land in Usakos

Sharlien Tjambari 

Build Together houses in Usakos are standing on unserviced land which means no sewage lines are in place. Most of the people at the Build Area have water and electricity in their homes but what do you do with water if you don’t have ablution facilities?

A young lady who opted to remain anonymous said she obtained her build together erf in 2012. “I built a shack there and luckily there is water but, no electricity and sewage pipes. We do not have any toilet facilities because the land we are on was not serviced, we must dig holes to make open-pit toilets ourselves. Since I moved there, I had to dig close to four holes in my yard. I have kids at home who plays around. This is not safe but what can we do? We needed land, we were allocated land and we are grateful that we have a piece of land we call our own”, the young lady said.
Residents in this area are paying for services. An old lady who makes money from selling ice blocks said she got her house in 2010 through the Shack Dwellers Federation. Her house is without water and there is no toilet due to the absence of sewage pipes. She says Erongo Red took pity on them and put electricity in their homes, they get water from a water point at the end of the street and there is only one water meter, meaning the shack dwellers community have to divide what-ever amount the council charge them for water, rates and taxes and for other services, among themselves. “We also pay for waste disposal facilities but rubbish here is not collected nor were we allocated with dustbins.
Those living in the informal settlement in dire situations, especially in Ongulubashe are only fearing for the lives of their children, they claim that recently five cases of the Hepatitis E outbreak were reported in Usakos and it is because of the unhygienic environment they are living in, “our children are at risk, because of no toilet facilities people relief themselves everywhere and children are playing everywhere and with anything. The living conditions at the informal settlements in Usakos are deteriorating and council need to react now before we all get sick”. There are trenches at some areas and community members report that those dugouts are from last year when council promised them that they were going to bring sewage lines but to date nothing has been installed yet. Council was contacted for comment on this

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