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San community uses conservancy earnings to pay for water infrastructure
Throughout Namibia, water is a scarce commodity, if the water infrastructure is broken, this adds an extra level of challenges. The San in N≠a Jaqna Conservancy have suffered as water infrastructure has been broken and remained in disrepair for year after year. Villagers have had to walk for kilometres on a daily basis to meet their basic water needs. The lack of access to water has some immediate problems that it brings with it on a daily basis. However, it has also meant that they have not been able to start gardens or other food security activities due to lack of access to water.
Last year at the N≠a Jaqna Conservancy Annual General Meeting the community decided that is would use its own funds. These funds had been earned through their own enterprising activities like Trophy Hunting. This now enables villages to get reliable water and have a chance at improving their own food security.
This year their investment and sacrifice is paying off and villages are celebrating having water for the first time in many years. The picture show Kankudi village, which has been waiting for their water infrastructure to be fixed for over 10 years. This shows the importance of conservancy earnings to empowering the people and enabling them to fix their own problems. It is making the villagers self-reliant and creating a cycle of self-sustainability. Of course this year may be a different story with Trophy Hunting income unlikely to be anything like previous years. However N≠a Jaqna Conservancy have also been prudent in previous years and set aside funds in case of a shock, like the current coronavirus, so the basic upkeep of things like water-infrastructure can continue to be supported.