Updating profiles of Bukalo and Nkurenkuru informal settlements and upgrading activities of Tsumeb, Kuvukiland informal settlement and Mariental informal settlement.
Profiling of informal settlements aims at collecting socio-economic formation and spatial data for informal areas in urban areas whether City, Town or village. Recently The SDFN/NHAG embarked on profiling activities in Bukalo.
Meetings were held with the Bukalo Village Council to introduce the SDFN/NHAG upgrading approach to new councilors and also identify any informal settlements to be profiled. In Bukalo, there are no informal settlements however, within the town boundaries is an area under the control and administration of the Traditional Authority. The village council only supplies basic services to the area such as water.
This area is not planned and people settle there as per allocation by the traditional authority. A Community Land Information Program Team was established and trained to do the profiling of the settlements. This activity is currently ongoing and once completed, feedback will be presented to the Village Council, Traditional Authority and Community.
Kuvukiland informal settlement in Tsumeb has progressed re-blocking phase of upgrading. In February, a meeting was held between Municipality, Council, SDFN/NHAG and community leaders to introduce the upgrading process to the new Council and also provide status on the Kuvukiland upgrading.
The layout consisting of over 1650 residential plots produced through participatory approach was approved by Council and will now be surveyed and implemented. For this exercise, using lessons from Karibib and Outjo where community members contributed to surveyor’s quote, will also be applied.
Quotations have since been requested from various surveyors with background that this is a community driven approach therefore professionals should consider social corporate responsibility and community contributions when quoting.
The new Council have committed to the process by also holding municipal officials accountable to avail more land for such great initiatives by SDFN and also to relocate households of Kuvukiland encroaching the nearby mine land which is inhabitable. In addition there are more households than the approved layout taking into account open spaces and other land uses. About 900households are affected and will be relocated to the new land once the land is availed. Municipality will draft engineering services layout and Bill of Quantity to service Kuvukiland.
The communities were met in their respective blocks A, B and C to present the approved layout. The next phase of Surveying and Re-blocking was also discussed with the communities together with examples of Karibib and Outjo. All three communities agreed to the initiative to contribute towards the surveyor costs once a quotation has been decided upon with the communities.
This resulted in setting up 3 accounts, one for each Block with signatories nominated by the communities including a seconded representative from the municipality’s finance department to account internally. Once bank accounts are opened, the different quotations received will be presented to the community to decide on which surveyor and also determine contributions from each household owners.
The said meetings are scheduled to happen in March this year when Memorandum of Understanding signing event as per request from Council, will be held.
Profiling of informal settlements aims at collecting socio-economic formation and spatial data for informal areas in urban areas whether City, Town or village. Recently The SDFN/NHAG embarked on profiling activities in Nkurenkuru.
Meetings were held with the Nkurenkuru Town Council to introduce the SDFN/NHAG upgrading approach to new councillors and also identify any informal settlements to be profiled. In Nkurenkuru, there are about 7 informal settlements however, within the town boundaries are 4. The Town Council supplies basic services to the area such as water.
Three areas were identified for profiling, namely Kulisuka (Nkurenkuru ext4&11), Mayara(Nkurenkuru ext 14)and Germany(Kahenge ext 7). Based on field observation, Kulisuka and Mayara are partly serviced with water and some permanent structures were counted, it is the smallest informal settlement.
A Community Land Information Program Team was established and trained to do the profiling of the settlements. This activity is currently ongoing and once completed, feedback will be presented to the Town council and Community.
Strategies in Namibia to support community participation in Informal Settlement Upgrading. Lessons on collaboration and scale was learned in Mariental where the Public and Private Sector is supporting the community to decongest densely populated informal settlements by providing and funding for land towards relocations. Following the enumerations in Mariental, which is one of the 16 Namibian towns currently where informal settlement inhabitants are participating in initiatives to upgrade their settlement, one important contribution from the public and private sector showed the way how they can support such initiatives. The Ministry of Agriculture, Walter and Land Reform (MAWLR) approached Mariental town to pilot the Flexible Land Tenure System. This lead to the Municipality availing Extension 5 of the town for this pilot.
The MAWLR also committed to fund a town planner who will draft the layout for blocks within the boundaries of extension 5. The municipality appointed SPC Town planners who are drafting the block layout for extension 5. This was preceded by the next step which is to identify which households will be relocating to extension 5. For this to occur, the community had to be engaged thus the Shack Dwellers of Namibia and Namibia Housing Action Group (SDFN/NHAG) partnered with municipality to engage the community using their community participation expertise.
There are 3 informal settlements in the town living on formally planned extensions 2&3 and also those encroaching nearby church land, these are Ombili Own Risk, Donkerhoek Own Risk and Takarania Own Risk.
Communities in the 3 areas were engaged to raise awareness of the planned re-blocking and relocation activities and also to set up committees for each of the areas. These committees will work closely with the Municipality, SDFN/NHAG and CLIP Teams to identify the households and structures in the streets, river beds and beyond boundaries as per planned layouts of Extension 2&3. They will also identify households that will be relocated to extension 5 together with people owning multiple shacks or having a house in the formal areas whilst renting out shacks as this will result in more households benefiting and having access to a plot.
The partnership between The Municipality, The MAWLR, SDFN/NHAG, SPC and the Community has the potential to accelerate the development in the town and thus have communities to access own land faster. The municipality also having discussions with the church to donate a portion of their farm land which will create more eleven for future expansion. The next step after identifying households to be relocated will be to do planning studios in Extension 2, 3 & 5.