Chief Tsamkxao ≠Oma


A voice for the Ju/’hoansi


Life changing water developments


Improving food security


Livestock support


Harvesting Devils claw

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Nyae Nyae Development Foundation

The Nyae Nyae Development Foundation Namibia (NNDFN) is a non-governmental organisation working with San communities in Namibia.

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Latest news

Illegal grazing and fencing impacting on san livelihood opportunities

The harvesting and sale of Devil’s Claw in both the Nyae Nyae Conservancy & Community Forest and the N#a Jaqna Conservancy & Community Forest offer on a yearly basis a substantial supplementary income for their members who undertake this activity.  However, the increase in illegal grazing in the Nyae Nyae Conservancy and Community Forest as well as the illegal erection of fences in the N#a Jaqna Conservancy and Community forest (NJCCF) now threaten the income generating opportunities.

With the 2019 Devil’s Claw harvesting now over, harvesters from both conservancies & community forests supplied just over 20 tons of dried Devil’s Claw. Thereby generating a direct income of just over N$ 1 million for about 500 harvesters.  This income is substantial considering that in many cases this is one of the only potential sources of income for their members and especially bearing in mind the extreme drought conditions of 2019.

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Nyae Nyae Chief in London

In September, Chief Tsamkxao ≠Oma of the Ju/’hoansi San Traditional Authority from Nyae Nyae, visited London to participate in the Flourishing Diversity Summit. Along with representatives from indigenous communities around the world including the Maori from New Zealand, the Sioux from America, Okiek from Kenya, to name a few. The San Chief told the story of his life and the changes he has  been witness to over the last 70-80 years.

The summit brought together indigenous leaders who shared their history and their approaches to environmental conservation. Conservation and the changes to the environment around the world was a major topic, especially as the indigenous see the impact that climate change is having globally every day in their communities.

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N≠a Jaqna Conservancy Making a Difference by investing over N$250,000 on water infrastructure

The N≠a Jaqna Conservancy recently held their most successful Annual General Meeting to date. At the meeting held in Windhoek, the community showed the results of their commitment to resolving their own problems, rather than waiting for others to help.

The community decided to invest over N$250,000 of their own funds rectifying long-term water problems that the authorities have failed to address for many years. Children, have for the last five years been forced to walk several kilometres to functioning water points to collect water on a daily basis, this was an untenable situation. This has put added pressure on the few village water points still functioning, distracted and kept children from school and made daily living an ongoing challenge in the area.

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The San know use trees are the way forward to combat climate change and improve food security

Even in the dry and arid regions of Namibia, trees can survive; provide shade and improved food security for people. The San in the Nyae Nyae Conservancy have found that trees are more resilient to drought than other plants and once established are very easily maintained.

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EIF awards grant for long-term water and fire management in the Nyae Nyae Conservancy

The Environmental Investment Fund (EIF) of Namibia has made more than N$1,9 million available to the Nyae Nyae Conservancy to help manage fire and water within the conservancy. Thereby protecting and safeguarding the livelihoods of the residents of this Conservancy in the Otjozondjupa region. This grant and the projects which it will facilitate are part of a bigger scheme to create climate resilient livelihoods through Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBRM) in Namibia.

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Nyae Nyae Conservancy Benefit Distribution: The Community Choose Cash

Benefit distribution in the Communal Conservancies comes in different form, but often in cash. There has been criticism of this, and of the Namibian’s communal conservancies in general, but the Nyae Nyae Conservancy has benefitted significantly from the distribution of cash. People in this day and age simply need cash to pay for certain goods and services, the people in the conservancy are no different.

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N≠a Jaqna Conservancy Benefit Distribution: Making a difference to the local children

There’s has been much criticism of Namibian’s communal conservancies recently and their lack of ability to deliver benefits to our community. However, in N≠a Jaqna Conservancy, the largest conservancy in Namibia and one of only 2 that are San run they take benefit distribution very seriously. This month food benefit has been distributed to schools throughout the area. During times of food-insecurity and drought any form of assistance is welcome, especially for the most vulnerable, the children of the conservancy. Food supplies, including staples worth N$96,000 have been distributed to 16 schools in the area during March 2019.

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Long-term fire management in the Nyae Nyae Conservancy

Namibia is a dry country, we all know that. Its people have manged to live, survive and thrive here for thousands of years. Just look at the indigenous communities like the San. The San in Nyae Nyae Conservancy who live and care for the areas where they live noticed a trend. A dangerous trend, one where more area was damaged by fire each year. In the Nyae Nyae Conservancy, in 2010 over 50% of the conservancy area burned and despite some fluctuations there was a continuous upward trend which if not addressed in one way or another would seriously impact and threaten the survival of the community as well as fauna and flora in the area.

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Water, Land and a Voice - Brochure 2018

Water, Land and a Voice reflects on the support provided by the Nyae Nyae Development Foundation of Namibia (NNDFN) to the Ju/’hoan San in north-eastern Namibia over the last 36 years. The aim is to highlight positive, constructive areas of development and lessons learned along the way. This is not an academic publication or detailed project review, rather an attempt to...

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Main Donors

List of major donors over the last 10 years

German EMbassy
Environmental Investment Fund
Kalahari Peoples Fund