An environmental impact assessment of urbanisation in the Erongo Region, Namibia

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

The assessment conducted in this dissertation was shaped by the intended formulation of an Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan (ICZMP), as proposed by the Danish Co-operation for Environment and Development. An ICZMP provides an integrated and holistic approach to planning, in which the various activities and resource demands that occur within the coastal belt and neighbouring regions are appropriately coordinated. The first phase of the formulation of this management plan entailed the compilation of a baseline report summarising the present state of the environment in the study area, with particular emphasis on the major issues which will require attention in an ICZMP. This study was undertaken by Masters students from the Department of Environmental and Geographical Science at the University of Cape Town. The study area is located within the coastal belt of Namibia's Erongo Region, and more specifically within the magisterial districts of Swakopmund and Walvis Bay (Map 3). This includes the National West Coast Tourist Recreation Area and a portion of the Namib Naukluft Park. The southern boundary extends to the Sandwich Harbour, while the northern boundary extends to the southern bank of the Ugab River. The eastern perimeter is that of the Swakopmund magisterial district, and includes the municipal areas of Walvis Bay, Henties Bay and Arandis, together with Rossing Mine and its immediate environment. The seaward boundary is defined by the three nautical mile limit from shore. The Baseline Report: Coastal Zone Management Plan for the Erongo Region, Namibia was submitted to DANCED in March 1996. The findings of the investigation, as recorded in the report, highlight a number of issues which require urgent attention in the ICZMP. One such issue concerns the rapid influx of migrants to the urban centres in the study area. Population is a determining factor which significantly influences the functioning of other key sectors within a given location. As such, an understanding of the ramifications of increased population numbers is imperative to the formulation of an ICZMP. The objective of this dissertation was, therefore, to identify the factors generating rapid migration to the study area, and to facilitate an assessment of the impacts of this phenomenon. Once identified and assessed, these impacts can be better managed within a holistic, integrated framework.

Bibliography: pages 97-102.