Community Voice exhibition!!

The Community-Led Upgrading of Informal Settlements is a trans-disciplinary research project which focuses on informal settlement upgrading in Namibia and Zambia. The project involving universities, communities, and NGOs researches different tools to engage the community. The project focuses on the following tools to create a voice for the community that lacks inclusion in decision making: Photos, voice, Spoken words, Art, Fashion, and Drama.

Today On the 30th of March, the Community-Led Upgrading of Informal Settlements Namibia _Zambia hosted a road exhibition where the process of informal settlement upgrading was showcased using maps and presentations of how the upgrading processes operate. The exhibition focused on ways to improve informal settlements in Namibia.

Community members from two different towns were invited to present their experiences on the process of informal settlement upgrading. They shared their experiences and challenges including solutions they got through participation.

In Gobabis people had to come up with ideas on how they can fix the water problems. The Gobabis community freedom square had a partnership with the municipality of Gobabis which allowed them to carry out the digging of their own water pipes. According to the community representatives, the active partnership with the community started after Namibia Housing Action Group negotiated with the municipality. The community of Freedom Square has since witnessed the upgrading of their settlement to a now planned area which also currently has functional basic services such as water and sewer which was installed by the community through training. They additionally started building brick houses and 1,110 households got the security of tenure.

The Dordabis community came up with a future plan to improve living standards. As they strive to learn from what the Gobabis community has done which inspires the Dordabis community to work towards achieving the same. The exhibition displayed the maps and layouts of what the team of Namibia Housing Action Group together with Namibian University of Science and Technology students and Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia has done.

Lessons learned

  • You can achieve all desired through hard work.
  • Community participation empowers all young and old, specifically women.
  • Bringing various stakeholders together with one common goal results in more resources and skills to support the community. 



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