GPS beacons for accurate measurements
Recent cooperation between Namibia and Germany to enhance the ability of the Office of the Surveyor General with special equipment, will help with accurate land measurements in support of land reform.
Hon Utoni Nujoma, the Minister of Land Reform, and His Excellency Christian Schlaga, the German Ambassador attended a ceremony last Friday in Windhoek for the official handover of five “Continuously Operating Reference Stations” (CORS). These have been installed in Lüderitz, Mariental, Otjiwarongo, Opuwo and Katima Mulilo, as part of the Namibian German cooperation in the area of land reform. This equipment was acquired and installed at a cost of approximately N$1.8 million.
This week the German Embassy said the German Government has been supporting the land reform process since 2003 through the “Support to Land Reform Programme” implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft tor lnternationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
These Continuously Operating Reference Stations are part of the physical component of Namibia’s geodetic infrastructure. This infrastructure is a network of control beacons that serve as physical reference points used in geodetic surveying and other surveying projects in its vicinity. The five Continuously Operating Reference Stations are receiving Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) data to enhance the precision in cadastral, topographical and engineering surveys. It is applied in remote sensing and in a large variety of other geographic information services (GIS) and mapping activities. These elements are a strategic component of the Ministry of Land Reform to upgrade the accuracy and density the geodetic network.
The five CORS are supplementing an existing network of seven stations, five of which had been supported by the German Government through the GIZ. The individual stations are covering large areas, with a countrywide CORS network being envisaged comprising at least 20 stations. Three of the five new stations are located in the northern regions where the density of the geodetic network is low.
Once operational, the enhanced accuracy of the CORS network aids various processes of land governance such as the land registration processes. This includes the surveys required for the implementation of the Flexible Land Tenure Act, to accelerate access to and delivery of secure tenure in informal urban areas. Piloting and implementing this project have become a focal area of the Namibian German cooperation on land.
The German Embassy said the GIZ is supporting the ministry with the development of the policy and legal framework for integrated land use planning and for the implementation of a system of flexible land tenure. The scope of the work also covers effective land administration and advisory services to land recipients. The German Government will continue to support this project.