Over the years there has been a need to strengthen Conservancy Regional Associations throughout the country. The Associations compromise of members from different conservancies in the same geographical area that come together to be a collective voice for conservancies facing similar challenges.
The rock outcrops incorporated into the infrastructure of the Uibasen Twyfelfontein Conservancy conference hall, gave a sense of integration to generate unique and beautiful outcomes from the associations. The NACSO secretariat, together with the Namibian Development Trust (NDT), continue their work in training and strengthening Regional Associations in advocacy, communications, and tourism development. The workshop was attended by Association members from Erongo and Southern Kunene conservancies, from 9 to 11 February 2018.
Facilitator, Teo Ntinda – Programme Officer at NDT, started off the meeting on an energetic note by setting out the workshop expectations from the attendees. The aim of the workshop was to understand the status of the associations, sharpening the participants' understanding of the constitution and how it operates, and clarifying the functions of the association. The expectations from the members were linked to the workshop objectives which was a great start to the workshop.
Participants were well engaged throughout the three days and were vocal about issues that affected them in their different conservancies and in the region. Mr Hochobeb, Southern Kunene Conservany association chairperson, expressed his gratitude to NACSO and NDT on behalf of the two associations. He said they would take the spirit of togetherness to advance the two associations.
In the Arid Eden of Kunene North, members of the Kunene Regional Community Conservancy Association (KRCCA) met at Wereldsend for a similar training from 12 to 16 February 2018. Accountability and transparency was the main theme at this workshop. The KRCCA are striving to work towards getting conservancies in their area to operate more efficiently. As Mr Ntinda spoke about financial issues occurring in other conservancies, Mr Tjiundukamba -KRCCA chairperson, referred to him as a prophet who spoke about the same issues occurring in Kunene north.
All three Associations acknowledge the need for a National Conservancy Association after identifying issues that affect them at a national level. Once the Regional Associations are running like well oiled machines, NACSO together with other stakeholders will look into organising the national association as requested from the members.