The rapid growth of informal settlements and unplanned urban development is one of the most significant development challenges faced by Namibian Local Authorities. This challenge comes with high economic, social, and environmental costs.
Namibia Flying Labs launched this project to assist the Otjiwarongo Municipality with addressing the issue of growing informal settlements. The project output data helped local leaders amend their town plan to accommodate the target community with necessary services while displacing a minimal number of people to other areas where they could receive more appropriate services.
In 2020, the town had four informal settlements. To tackle the issue, we started with the Ombili informal settlement, and with the use of a DJI Mavic 2 Pro, we collected aerial images covering 173.3ha. Next, an orthomosaic was produced using DroneDeploy, followed by a shack density report using Picterra. Finally, a density grid was created using Global Mapper.
The results showed an estimated 1,540 shacks and an estimated 6,160 people residing in the area. These households are all without a direct water and electricity connection and rely on small solar panels to charge small electronics such as cellphones and communal water points.
With an estimated 1 million people (about 40 percent of the country’s population) living in shacks nationwide, seeing the value in such projects becomes clear.
We plan to expand our work and collect data for the remaining informal settlements. We thank all the donors, particularly WeRobotics, stakeholders, and the Otjiwarongo Municipality, for assisting us with this project.