August 16, 2013

Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia signs MoU with the Municipality of Gobabis

Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia signs their first MOU with the Gobabis Municipality
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Efraim Dawids, (CEO Gobabis Municipality), Mariana Bernardus (SDFN) and Anna Muller (NHAG) with signed documents
The Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia , Namibia Housing Action Group and the Gobabis Municipality Signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Thursday, 15th of August in the regional  capital Gobabis of the Omaheke Region.
 
The Community Land Information Programme (enumerations) by the Federation, community and Municipality of Gobabis and NHAG already covered all the four informal settlements with 6,000 people in Gobabis in 2012. In March 2013 a group of Namibians, including a Gobabis municipal official and a member from the community visited Stellenbosch and Cape Town to learn about upgrading. This inspired the Gobabis delegation to involve the informal settlement community in their own upgrading and to prepare for an MOU with the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia. Yesterday on 15th August 2013 this first MOU with a Local Authority was signed under the same tree where the first Gobabis saving group started 15 years ago. This historical tree is next to the largest informal settlement in Gobabis, Freedom Square (previously Damara Block) accommodating about 3,000 people.
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Elfriede Kujane
 
Elfriede Kujane from Turipamwe saving group in Gobabis explained during the ceremony how excited she was. They have been working with the municipality to obtain land and construct houses for over 120 households. “ The day has come for us to put it on paper. If new councillors they don’t know the federation but now we have put it on paper and they will know about us. “
The 400 community members attending the signing ceremony were relieved to learn that Freedom Square residents will not be relocated. They will be the first informal settlement community in Gobabis who will become involved in their upgrading planning. As part of an agreement between Shack/Slum Dwellers International (SDI) and the Association of African Planning Schools, (AAPS) planning studios with the Town Planning students of the Polytechnic of Namibia, will start in September 2013.
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MoU Signing
 
The Community Land Information Program continues being implemented throughout the country by SDFN/NHAG
in partnership with Habitafrica Foundation, and funded by the Spanish Agency for Development and Cooperation (AECID).
 

Freedom Square Community Members at MoU Signing
 

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