Winter contributes to shack fires
By Eveline de Klerk
WALVIS BAY – The Mayor of Walvis Bay, Uilika Nambahu, has implored residents to devise new and creative ways that would minimize shack fires.
She acknowledged the council cannot stop the construction of shacks that has spiralled out of control.
Speaking during the monthly council meeting on Monday night, Nambahu said the increasing incidents of shack fires is particularly alarming as human lives remain at risk, while victims are always left stranded.
“The incidences of shack fires surely has a variety of causative factors but I am swayed to believe the current winter conditions somehow also contribute to the problem as people utilise heating and cooking appliances to keep warm. To date, council has mounted several information and awareness campaigns but those campaigns although successfully implemented, have not changed the attitude of our target audience as evidenced by the increase in shack-fire accidents and incidences,” Nambahu explained.
Last month, close to 40 shacks were gutted by a huge inferno at the coastal town which left at least 200 inhabitamts homeless while one person died.
According to the mayor it is known that the Walvis Bay Council and the government through the National Housing Enterprise (NHE) are working towards the provision of affordable houses to all Namibians.
“However, while this is ongoing shack fires continue to place both people and property in harm’s way.”
She urged the public to engage council with proposals aimed at mitigating the causes of fires or create warning systems to protect human lives and property.
Nambahu also thanked socially conscious corporate entities who saw the need to assist families affected by the recent shack fires.
“I want to acknowledge all compassionate residents who in their individual capacity donated food, clothing and other items to the affected families. I am however hopeful that the challenges we face in respect of these fires and the associated hardship will be something of the past within the foreseeable future,” she concluded.