Shack Dwellers and NSA to collaborate on housing stats

28 Feb 2016 16:00pm
WINDHOEK, 28 FEB (NAMPA) – Members of the business community must assist shack dwellers associations with sponsorships to provide themselves decent living conditions.
Deputy Minister of Urban and Rural Development Derek Klazen said shack dwellers need assistance, as their saving scheme does not meet all their targets.
“The problem is when local authorities provide land to shack dwellers - this land, for people who are struggling, is provided at a very low price and is therefore unserviced,” he said during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia (SDFN)-Namibia Housing Action Group (NHAG), and Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) on Thursday in the capital.
The MoU stipulates that the NSA shall provide technical assistance and support with regards to sharing resources such as maps and required data; provide training where needed as per the National Statistical System (NSS) framework in areas such as mapping and GPS training; enhance capacity building by involving community members from the SDFN/NHAG to participate in field activities within informal settlements; and source for updated information from the SDFN/NHAG on a regular basis as updates become available.
The SDFN/NHAG shall share resources such as maps and required data, whether spatial or statistical; consult the NSA if there is knowledge gaps befitting training from the NSA; share information on planned and ongoing mushrooming/developments in informal areas as they observe; provide names of qualifying, competent and dedicated individuals when needed to the NSA for incorporation in the fieldwork activities undertaken by the NSA in their respective areas.
The group shall also ensure that data collected from the settlements and supplied to the NSA are reliable and fit to provide evidence-based development planning.
On her part, NSA Acting Statistician-General Ndamona Kali said the NSA seeks to broaden the horizon of collaboration with stakeholders to foster more economic, yet viable means of up-to-date statistical data.
“The memorandum of understanding is aimed at sharing data and other resources that will enhance not only the operation of NSA or the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia, but will in general improve the timeless data collection and reporting on the informal housing sector of the country,” she said.
Also speaking at the event, SDFN National Facilitator Edith Mbanga said that their goal is to ensure that the information collected can be used for planning and improvements of the living conditions of the majority of people living in informal settlements and unplanned areas.
“Lack of basic services such as water, sewerage and electricity is major challenges for our communities. Signing this MoU with the NSA adds value to what we are currently doing, and will ensure that the information collected by the people will be adequately used by local government for planning improvements,” she noted.
The SDFN is a network of saving schemes with members throughout the country to secure land, and to leverage additional Government contributions that enable the groups to build houses for the contributing members.
The NSA collects, produces, analyses and disseminates official and other statistics in Namibia for development purposes.