Chapter 5 - Socio-economics
Over the past few years, Namibia has experienced an unprecedented interest in the uranium deposits in the Erongo Region. This resulted from a sharp increase in demand and the resultant increase in the price of uranium oxide. A number of predominantly international mining companies commenced with exploration and development of new mines, mostly in the Erongo Region. The Erongo Region provides the service support infrastructure to the marine component of the proposed phosphate project, is the second most affluent region in the country, after the Khomas Region. It had an unemployment rate of 34 % in 2001, 63 % of the population resided in urban areas, has a very low population density which is largely concentrated in the coastal towns of Swakopmund, Walvis Bay, Henties Bay and Arandis and two thirds of its population derive their livelihoods from wages and salaries from here. Social services are relatively well provided for and the region is second only to the Khomas Region in terms of health indicators such as infant and under five mortality rates. The full scope of the project socio-economic implications will be discussed in the terrestrial component of the project EIA. Separate but co-dependant Environmental Contracts will be established for these components.