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Rundu inks agreement to formalise settlements

2023-12-06  John Muyamba

Rundu inks agreement to formalise settlements

RUNDU – The Rundu Town Council, the Namibia Housing Action Group, and the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia on Thursday signed an agreement for the formalisation of the Sikanduko and Ngwangwa informal settlements.

This will be done through an inclusive community-driven upgrading programme which will see the two informal settlements gradually moving from shacks to brick houses.

“This agreement is indeed offering greater opportunities to the poorest of the poor,’’ Theresia Nangoro, a member of the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia (SDFN), said at the signing event. 

The federation and stakeholders like the German Cooperation Agency (GIZ) and other partners have been working together to put plans in motion to upgrade the Sikanduko and Ngwangwa informal settlements. They also assisted community members in obtaining more affordable land and services for those in organised savings group. 

Nangoro said there are about eight organised beneficiary groups with a membership of 257 in Rundu.

 The federation and its partners are aiming to reach all the low-income communities in this north-eastern town.

“The SDFN members have been waiting for this document to be signed for many years. Therefore, this MoU that we are signing today should help us work together as partners to reach all the low-income communities of Rundu by working together,’’ she noted.

Nangoro said the federation members and the community are all committed to making a positive difference in the Sikanduko settlement, building a sense of community among its members, and creating a sense of belonging and hope. “We are supporting the process of community-led upgrading to improve their living conditions and children’s futures,” she enthused.

The federation will thus take the document and its content seriously, as it should, and will make use of the opportunity given to them to continue cooperating with the local authority and other stakeholders. The federation is supported by the ministry of urban and rural development, regional councils, Standard Bank, B2Gold, Ohorongo Cement, the FNB Foundation, the Pupkewitz Foundation and various other institutions.  

“Through the signing of the agreement, the Rundu Town Council is compelled to ensure that the envisaged outputs of the project are cordially attained, and benefits the people on the ground. The council strives for the betterment of all people’s living conditions through the provision of secure land tenure, as well as adequate and sufficient services in terms of water, sewer, electricity and roads,’’ said Rundu mayor Gabriel Kanyanga.

Namibia Housing Action Group (NHAG) co-director Heinrich Amushila urged local authorities at the signing event to embrace community-based approaches such as that of the SDFN, and to genuinely support their noble initiatives, which are aimed at encouraging community participation and owning their development process. 

“Informal settlement upgrading isn’t new. The international community has done it, and continues to progress in line with the UNHabitat agenda. The agreement makes provision for a working team from the NHAG/SDFN/ Rundu council to meet regularly, and to make sure the document is translated into action,” he added.


2023-12-06  John Muyamba

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