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Drinking Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

Namibia and its neighbours, Botswana and Angola, suffer from frequent floods and devastating droughts, and too many people live in abject poverty and have limited access to adequate water and sanitation services.

USAID through its Southern African Regional Environmental Program (SAREP) is addressing these issues by improving the water supply and sanitation services, as well as conserving biodiversity within the Okavango River Basin. This basin supports the livelihoods of more than 880,000 people in Namibia, Angola and Botswana.

USAID works with the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC)and the Permanent Okavango River Basin Water Commission to implement strategies that integrate biodiversity protection, increase access to water supply and sanitation and focus on global climate change.  For communities surrounding the Okavango River in Namibia, the program provides easier access to clean water and sanitation, opens the door to better farming techniques and new employment opportunities while ensuring better environmental management.

The program goals are as follows:

  • Improved cooperative management of shared river basin
  • Enhanced monitoring and protection of biodiversity and ecosystems services
  • Increased access to safe water supply and sanitation
  • Strengthened institutional capacity for basin resource management in the context of global climate change
  • Improved and regional, national, and local development planning capacities around the river basin.

Disaster and Climate Change

USAID with funding from the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) is supporting the World Food Program (WFP) to strengthen the capacity of the Government of Namibia (GRN) to effectively design and manage food assistance programs.  Activities include supporting government officials’ efforts to establish storage facilities in disaster-prone areas and training GRN officials and others in logistics, supply chain, and warehouse management. 

Through partner, National Cooperative Business Association’s Cooperative League of the United States of America (CLUSA), USAID/OFDA is working to reduce Namibians’ vulnerability to weather shocks by training more than 10,000 farmers in conservation agriculture.  This include land preparation, field ripping, planting, weeding, harvesting, and post-harvest techniques.  The use of conservation agriculture helps improve soil conditions, retention of rainfall, and agricultural yields. 

USAID/OFDA funding is also supporting the International Organization for Migration (IOM) ’s efforts to enhance regional capacity in coordination and management of displacement situations in collaboration with key government officials and national stakeholders, such as the Red Cross.  The project seeks to establish a regional support hub in Namibia for disaster risk management and camp management activities.