Pre-feasibility study mission, possible support to cadastral and geodetic activities; Namibia

Additional Specialist Services / Africa / Cadastral / Chartered Land Survey / Coordinate Systems / CORS Networks / Education / Europe / Funding / Geodetic Control / Imagery / Land Information System (LIS) / Land Legal / Land Registration / Large Scale Transformations / Namibia / Satellite Imagery / Survey Standards / UK / Workshops and Training

Client: Ministry of Land Reform (MLR); Funded by KfW Bank Germany, Namibia

Year: 2017

Management of land is a key responsibility of government.  This project reflects on the current work of the Government of Namibia’s, Ministry of Land Reform and the Directorate of Survey and Mapping. It identifies the challenges that are being faced as pressure on land increases from a rapid move to urbanisation over recent years. The focus of this short study which commenced on 17 July 2017 has been to review the following topic areas:

  • Improvement of the Namibian geodetic infrastructure according to identified needs
  • Review the policy regarding the use of geodetic datum and map projections for cadastral products
  • Integration of Land Management Systems (cadastre, valuation, deeds, communal land registration and flexible land tenure)
  • Mapping and registration of communal land parcels
  • Surveying of urban land parcels

In conducting our work, we discovered a history of project implementation addressing these issues undertaken by several departments and organisations with little coordination. There were several studies and projects implemented to address aspects of each of the five areas of interest that stalled due to; lack of coordination, lack of skill retention and lack of funding or unrealistic funding requested.

The presence of GIZ as technical advisors to the MLR is clearly delivering stronger strategic focus and improved levels of coordination.

The NLIS portal that was launched recently demonstrates the ambition for sharing of government data on land and could be developed further to become the common platform to underpin e-governance services, as of today there is not a widely used common platform for the sharing of information in each of these areas.  Historic outsourcing of projects has led to comprehensive studies and implementation being conducted by external experts with inadequate skills transfer taking place resulting in a lack of local ownership and capability. Overall IT is patchy without rigorous control of back up and safe storage.

The underlying project ethos was to achieve programme sustainability by awarding work to Namibia based companies and experts wherever possible and viable. Where overseas partners are required, skills transfer and training to enhance capability in the MLR departments, especially DSM, would be contractually mandated. This will be achieved by appointments of counterparts and engagement of Namibian universities or other educational institutes to become delivery and learning partners.

A full assessment of costs and the balance of cost cs returns presented at a workshop lead by Martin L de Beer of RGC who was the team leader in country for the project.

The project team are most grateful for the significant assistance they were provided throughout their visit.  Government official, GIZ experts, private surveyors and other stakeholders all gave their time generously, they were open and provided much advice, opinion and information.

Route Geographic Consultants in the person of Martin de Beer from RGC, together with Ordnance Survey International and the excellent team of experts – including their leading Geodetic expert Mark Greaves – provided as part of this project, were able to deliver a detailed outline of planning with costs for the next phase of implementing the findings by KfW, the German Government and the Namibian Government.