The Challenges

Informal Settlements in Namibia

Close to 50% of Namibia's urban population are living in shacks, mainly due to a lack of affordable land and housing. Half of all shack residents have no access to decent sanitation facilities and therefore practice open defecation. Every year, an estimated additional 12,000 shacks are being erected in towns across the country.

Rapidly expanding informal settlements pose a series of challenges: it is difficult (and often impossible) to provide any land servicing, i.e. to lay water and sewer lines or provide access roads. Residents do not have title deeds for the land they are living on and therefore are not allowed to build homes with bricks and mortar, and have very little tenure security.

During 2017, Development Workshop Namibia (DWN) implemented a study and published a book on informal settlement growth (click here to download a PDF version), assessing the main causes of the continued growth of informal settlements and providing the basis of the current DWN programmes.