What we do

As an NGO that specializes on urban development, DWN draws on significant institutional capacity and knowledge acquired over 40 years of experience and strengthened by its integration into regional and international networks. In Namibia, DWN’s main objective is therefore to contribute to debate, knowledge and practice of sustainable urban development, urban poverty reduction, planning, tenure and housing. The main areas of current interventions are:

1. Programme for the delivery of low cost urban land for housing

In 2017, DW Namibia, in partnership with the Namibian Chamber of Environment, initiated a programme to deliver affordable land to the urban poor. Three projects are currently being implemeted in Oshakati, Okahao and Karibib, with more than 1000 plots being developed. The projects are implemented through partnership agreements with the local authority. Teh local auhority provides the land, and DW Namibia plans, surveys and installs minimal services (e.g. water points and on-site sanitation) with its partners from the private sector (town planner, land surveyor, engineer, conveyancer). Titled, minimally serviced plots are then sold for on a cost-recover basis for around USD 800-1400 to low-income Namibians. This allows the original funding to then be deployed again, making the system financially sustainable. The programme is fully supported by the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development (MURD).

Download the programme fact sheet here.

2. Provision of appropriate low cost sanitation

In May 2018, the Namibian Chamber of Environment (NCE) commissioned an assessment on appropriate urban low-cost sanitation systems in Namibia, implemented by Development Workshop Namibia (DWN). With additional support from the GEF Small Grants Programme, and based on the results of the survey, DWN then initiated the construction of best practice demonstration toilets. Built in Oshakati and Okahao, the demonstration toilets were integrated in so called ´sanitation centres´ that involve local residents and promote good sanitation practices.

At the same time, the Ministry of Health and Social Services, City of Windhoek, Constituency Councils of Samora Machel and Moses Garoeb, WHO, UNICEF and UNDP were preparing a major sanitation programme in Windhoek. The objective of the programme is to eliminate open defecation in the city´s informal settlements and end the Hepatitis E outbreak.

The programme adopted a methodology called ´Community Led Total Sanitation´, or CLTS. The methodology uses a community bottom up approach, sensitizing informal settlement residents of the dangers of open defecation and encouraging the construction of latrines according to guidelines as provided by the City of Windhoek.

The concept of sanitation centres fits perfectly with CLTS, and on 8 August DWN was engaged by UNICEF and UNDP to implement several components of the Windhoek sanitation programme, including the construction of sanitation centres, GIS mapping of sanitation infrastructure, and the implementation of information campaigns.

Download the research report here