Selected Natural Resource Management and Limited Rural Development Assessment. Carried out for USAID/Namibia as part of the development of a Programme strategy for 2004-2010

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Namibia is the driest country South of the Sahara. Most of the country is classified as semi-arid or arid, and there is a lack of permanent surface water between Namibia's borders. Although the population is small compared to the size of the country, most people are concentrated in relatively small areas. These areas include the few large towns, the oshana area of the north central regions and along the rivers of the Kavango and Caprivi Regions. In all of these areas the number of people living within a relatively small space creates environmental pressures. The main problem facing urban areas is the provision of water in a water scarce country. Water provision is also a key issue in the rural areas, particularly the communal lands. The government's cost recovery programme aims to hand over the ownership and maintenance of water supply infrastructure to local communities. However, questions remain about the ability of local communities to pay for such maintenance and about the extent to which equitable access to rural water resources can be ensured.

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