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REMODELING OF URBAN COMMUNITIES – THE CASE OF ONGWEDIVA

Ongwediva is located in the northern part of Namibia within the Oshana Region. The development process of the town dates back to the nineteen sixties when it was first established in the traditional area of Headman Nandjembo Mengela and developed into a residential and institutional settlement.

The creation of the Ministry of Regional and Local Government and Housing (MRLGH) after independence in 1990, created favorable conditions for urban development in rural centers and Ongwediva was subsequently proclaimed as a town in 1992.

Ongwediva, by virtue of its historical background, is a town with sharp contrast in terms of its urban set up. The residential area boast modern urban facilities as opposed to the town lands that features informal business activities on prime land and prominent elements of rural settlement on which subsistence farming activities are commonly practiced.

With global trends of rapid economic growth and urbanization taking root in Ongwediva, projects and administration strategies, with direct relationship to the changing times and cultural and ideological values and norms of the society and their authorities, were vigorously pursued to systematically transform informal business activities into meaningful socio and economic urban activities.

To date, the town has successfully gone through these changing environments and physical conditions that stem from urban development activities and expansion programs.

The town is a centre of education and is supported by a well establish residential development and services industries that serves the north-western regions of Namibia.

With an estimated population of 20 000 inhabitants, and an annual growth rate of 3.5%, Ongwediva is rated as one of the fastest growing towns in Namibia that emerged from a rural set up and a true product of independent Namibia.