Walvis Bay Fishermen edge closer to homeownership.

Niël Terblanché

Approximately 690 fishermen are on the brink of fulfilling their dream of becoming homeowners as they prepare for a significant milestone in their journey.

Thomas Mununga, a representative of the fishermen, explained that they formed the October 2015 United Land and Housing Federation to facilitate their goal of homeownership and have been proactive in their efforts to secure land at Farm 37, situated on the outskirts of Walvis Bay.

“This initiative is more than just about building houses; it’s about creating a community and a better future for our fishermen and their families. Through our strategic endeavour, we are inclined to champion fishermen as equal partners in the fight against poverty,” Thomas Mununga, a representative of the fisher, said.

Overcoming years of housing challenges, these fishermen, who lost their jobs during the massive unprotected strike in 2015 and were later re-employed through the Government Employment and Redress Programme (GERP), have been diligently saving their stipends to achieve this goal.

The fishermen, who receive approximately N$4 000 monthly through the GERP, have managed to save over N$3 million over the past three years.

“Most of our federation members, who have been absorbed and employed in the hake and horse mackerel industries through the GERP, have managed to contribute and raise these funds. Furthermore, the federation is dedicated to promoting an entrepreneurial culture to discourage stagnation and lackadaisical attitudes by encouraging active participation in socio-economic activities,” Mununga said.

In a bid to further its mission, the federation will host a fundraising gala dinner this Friday evening at the Atlantic Hotel in Walvis Bay.

During this event, they will launch their township layout establishment plan for low-cost housing development at Portion 18, Farm 37.

The ambitious project aims to build 720 houses on a 48-hectare land mass, fostering a brighter future for the fishermen and their families.

“The Walvis Bay Fisherman Village is an impeccable authentic initiative that strives to strengthen effective fishermen participation in socio-economic development issues through purchasing and developing land in habour towns and generating exceptional talent and partnerships that provide tangible solutions in building low-cost housing,” said Mununga.

The fundraising gala dinner is expected to attract significant attention and support, with Trevino Forbes, the Mayor of Walvis Bay, and Andre Neville Ipinge, the Governor of the Erongo Region, set to officiate the event.

Erastus Uutoni, the Minister of Urban and Rural Development, will be the keynote speaker, and Derek J. Klazen, the Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, will be the special guest of honor.

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