UNDP RR's Familiarization trip to Klein Karas.
UNDP Resident Representative Ms. Anita Kiki Gbeho recently undertook an orientation mission to one of the NAMPLACE community level socio economic projects in Klein Karas, in Keetmanshoop, which is supported by UNDP. The Commissioner of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET), the Programme Manager of NAMPLACE, the EIF Director, and Godwana representatives, also accompanied the mission.
The Klein Karas community is made up of 91 residents resettled onto land next to the old railway station in order to better support livelihoods and therefore protect the surrounding environment. Of the 91 resident 36 are direct beneficiaries of the government resettlement programme.
NAMPLACE Project is a new initiative aimed to lift conservation barriers and advocate for the establishment of a large-scale network of protected landscapes in order to address imminent threats to habitat and species loss at a landscape level. Launched in 2011 the project is hosted by the Directorate of Environmental Affairs within Namibia's Ministry of Environment and Tourism. Funding is sourced through the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
For diversified economic activities and improved livelihoods, the community had identified three socio-economic projects, namely vegetable garden, Sewing and cultural tourism. NAMPLACE project provided support to these identified projects.
The sewing project was supported in various ways, including but not limited to building renovations, providing sewing machines and a solar system, fabrics and sewing accessories and well as training a programme to enhance the skill set of the community members.
With regards the vegetable garden the NAMPLACE Project provided assistance in acquiring shade tunnels to enable easier working conditions, an irrigation system, a boaster pump and water tanks to help the project become more self sustainable. The project was also equipped with the rehabilitation of boreholes and horticultural mentorship to ensure the success of the endeavour.
Eight ladies participate in the sewing project and have received training, on two separate occasions so as to assist them to improve their products. They produce dolls, table cloths, and place mats which, they sell to nearby lodges for tourist consumption.
Community spokesperson of the day Mrs Mungunda, highlighted the value of the sewing project and the income the community is able to generate from their proceeds.
She also requested that the community be provided with more training for both the sewing and the community garden, so as to ensure that they produce products to the standards and expectations of the their clients.