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Poly students to benefit from cooperation with Shack Dwellers Federation

(Left to right) Tjama Tjivikua, rector of the Polytechnic of Namibia with Edith Mbanga, national coordinator of the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia and Ana Muller, national coordinator of the Namibia Housing Action Group at the signing of the formal agreement between the three institutions. (Photograph by Lorato Khobetsi)The Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia and the Namibia Housing Action Group (NAHG) this week formalised their 15 year collaboration with the Polytechnic of Namibia.
The collaboration ranges from the surveying of informal settlements, land use planning, pro poor policy development, support and advocacy as well as research on water and land administration by students from the Integrated Land Management Institute at the Polytechnic.
Tjama Tjivikua, rector of the Polytechnic of Namibia said that the institution has surveyed numerous informal settlements on behalf of the Housing Group and has also contributed to the development of a policy on flexible land tenure and delivered constructive criticism on the Flexible Land Tenure Bill at a recent National Council Hearing.
“The NAHG serves on the Advisory Board of our land management programme and gives critical input needed to make sure that the programmes are relevant and meet the needs and expectations of all sectors of our society,” said Tjivikua.
Also speaking at the signing ceremony, Governor of the Khomas region, Samuel Nuuyoma said that the Namibian government is committed to uplifting the living conditions of all Namibians, but it cannot achieve this alone.
He added that a priority area of activity for the Khomas Regional Council has been to provide material support to initiatives such as the Build Together Programme which concentrates on the provision of shelter and municipal services to low income groups countrywide.
“The Shack Dwellers Federation has been one of our most active community-based partners in implementing this very critical development programme, the Federation has been active in mobilising communities throughout Namibia to work together to find solutions to problems that inhibit their development, ” Nuuyoma said.
The Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia is a network of low income people who live in shacks, rented rooms and backyards. The federation was started in 1987 with only 5 groups in the Khomas region but has since grown to 600 groups countrywide.
The federation has 19 556 members countrywide who have saved over N$10million and built close to 3000 houses countrywide.

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