The Summer Land Care Programme (SLCP), implemented by the DRFN and Gobabeb Training and Research Centre (GTRC) with funding from the Country Pilot Partnership (CPP) has just come to an end. The intensive two-month course in applied research was aimed at building the capacity of Namibian tertiary students. Twelve students from the Polytechnic of Namibia (PoN) and the University of Namibia (UNAM) took part in the 2010-2011 course, investigating Land-Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry in the Ohangwena region at two sites, Endola and Omauni.
Policy frameworks on local and national levels, livelihood systems of community members of in the two study sites, current and past vegetation composition and abundance, and soil characteristics were key fields of investigation.
Data were analyzed at the Gobabeb Training and Research Centre (GTRC) and an overall draft report was compiled at the end of January 2011.
The findings of the study were presented by the students to the donor institution and interested stakeholders in the form of a short drama on the 3rd February 2011at the Desert Research Foundation of Namibia (DRFN) premises, Windhoek.
Comments by some of the students taking part in SLCP
“SLCP has enhanced my capacity, as a young Namibian scientist, to not only acquire knowledge and skills, but be able to find their application in practice. Working in a team with individuals from different backgrounds has given a whole new meaning to the concept team work”…
Pinehas Uupindi, PoN
“Working with Government officials and the community at grass root level, as well as the respective village Headmen was a highlight for me. As a young graduate my understanding on how land is used was enhanced. Environmentally friendly initiatives at Gobabeb e.g. separation of waste garbage for recycling, was well observed. All in all, SLCP was a learning experience.”
Riana Kadimba, PoN
“The greatest part of the process was the application of my academic knowledge in the field. The practice greatly complimented the theory I acquired from the classroom environment. The experience made me realize that working as a team is far better than working as an individual, as “two heads are better than one”
Rufina Shifa, UNAM
“The programme has made me understand the importance of monitoring and evaluation and its application. I have gained useful knowledge, experience and exposure”
Justus Kauatjirue, PoN
“Being at Gobabeb for the first time was fascinating and I was overwhelmed by its vast biological and geomorphologic diversity. I had the opportunity of witnessing the marvel of the Kuiseb River in flood. The luxurious accommodation and incredible staff at the centre made our daily activities worthwhile”
Mathias Moyo, UNAM