From Shacks to Formal Township

The Spanish Cooperation, which has been active in Namibia since 1990, recently took stock of its work in Omaheke, when the Spanish Ambassasdor, H.E. Carmen Diacuteez, visited the Freedom Square settlement in Gobabis.The ambassador assisted at the closing ceremony of a workshop that discussed strategy and implementation for the reblocking and upgrading of Freedom Square.

The initiative for improving this informal settlement came from the residents themselves.This workshop took place as part of the Community Land Information Programme (CLIP). This programme is funded by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation and the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development.

The implementation partners are the Spanish NGO Alliance for Solidarity (ApS), the NGOs Namibia Housing Action Group (NHAG) and the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia (SDFN). During the years 2011-2013, the CLIP teams in Gobabis have been collecting socio-economic and spatial information in all informal settlements. This information will be presented to the municipality for its subsequent implementation.

The programme is embraced by the community as indicated by the large number of residents that participated in the very active workshop. The discussions were facilitated by students of the Polytechnic.The ambassador said that since the inception of the project, the ministry as well as the mplementing partners have shown great commitment to the project. This is key to its success, she said.

Source : Namibia Economist