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Rural-urban migration hampers service delivery

2020-04-03  Albertina Nakale

Rural-urban migration hampers service delivery

Although the government has made remarkable milestones in improving access to basic services such as water provision, sanitation is still a challenge, especially in rural areas and informal settlements.

This information is contained in the report, titled Namibia’s 30 Years Developmental Journey, which was launched a day before  Independence Day.

The report reveals there has been a rapid increase over the past years in the density of informal settlements due to rural-urban migration.

Equally, it cited Khomas and Erongo regions as being major destination regions attracting migrants from around the country. The high rate of urban migration presents a challenge to local authorities,  hampering the effective delivery of access to basic services, especially in the informal sector. 

“Water-borne sewerage and the dry sanitation system are the main sanitation systems used in the urban and rural areas in Namibia,” the report stated.

Further, it reveals there has been a significant decline, with no access to toilets declining from 57% in 1993/94 to 45% in 2015/16.

The government noted although Namibia could not meet the Millenium Development Goal (MDG) on sanitation, the country was considered as one of the countries that recorded rapid progress in sanitation, increasing coverage by at least 25% between 1990 and 2000, especially in rural areas.

“Despite progress made in improving sanitation to households in rural areas, many households still do not have access to sanitation. The situation is more pronounced in rural areas and the informal settlements of the various towns,” it stated.

Moreover, the proportion of households that practice open defecation is worsening, especially for people who live in urban areas, increasing from 8% in 1994 to 23% in 2016. The increase is mainly attributed to high rural-urban migration and the formation of informal settlements on the outskirts of cities and towns. The report reveals that inadequate sanitation is a major cause of infectious diseases, such as Cholera and Hepatitis E.

It is also said that poor sanitation contributes to stunting and impaired cognitive function and it impacts well-being through school attendance, anxiety and safety, with lifelong consequences, especially for women and children. The government maintains improving sanitation in households, health facilities and schools are critical for socio-economic development. 

The report shows some of the achievements noted in terms of sanitation are attributed to increased settlement areas declared.

 Declaration of settlement areas is for better management and control of the human settlement and to administer matters about the health and welfare of the inhabitants of such areas.

The number of settlements declared increased to 51 settlements by 2019 from 29 settlements in 1990.

The report indicates that in terms of the number of municipalities in the country, there has been a decrease, compared to the number recorded at independence.

The report states this is mainly due to some municipalities (Karibib, Usakos, Karasburg and Otavi) being downgraded due to their failure to comply with set qualification conditions, whereas Walvis Bay and Henties Bay were declared as municipalities between the two periods.   –

2020-04-03  Albertina Nakale

Tags: Khomas
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