Khomas Regional Council challenged by urbanisation

At the recent belated commemoration of the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction (IDDRR) 2023, the Chairperson of the Khomas Regional Council, Shaalukeni John Moonde, highlighted the pressing challenge of urbanisation affecting the council’s ability to respond to disasters effectively.

“The rapid influx of rural to urban migration not only hampers our ability to implement development programmes, but also affects our service delivery, such as access to clean water, sanitation, and emergency services,” he said.

The councillor stressed that the vulnerable residents in informal settlements are most impacted by the lack of access to emergency services during disasters.

In addition, City of Windhoek Mayor Queen Kamati, echoed these sentiments, emphasising the severe impact of natural and man-made disasters on all Namibians.

She underlined the importance of promoting a culture of disaster reduction, prevention, mitigation and preparedness.

“Disasters such as extreme weather conditions, floods, wildfires, extended droughts, water scarcity, epidemics, chemical spillages, power outages and socio-economic challenges such as poverty, unemployment and homelessness impact all Namibians regularly. These potentially disastrous challenges require structured and accelerated interventions by all stakeholders,” said the mayor.

Deputy Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Evelyn !Nawases-Taeyele focused on housing challenges faced by urban dwellers. She acknowledged the strides made in partnership with the Municipal Council of Windhoek, especially in providing decent shelter to those in the lower income bracket.

!Nawases-Taeyele expressed awareness that more needs to be done and thanked the government for proposing a budget with significant provisions for improving services and housing, especially in local authority areas.

“Disaster risk reduction and resilience require collective efforts and everybody has a role to play to make our communities safer against disasters. Community preparedness is very important when a disaster occurs,” she said.

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