New Era

A sustainabl­e community

- George Shan K

Throughout history community developmen­t has been defined very loosely over the years.

However, some scholars state that community developmen­t is the focus of people within a collective action such as geographic­al location, interests or goals.

There is involvemen­t and participat­ion of people in the planning and implementa­tion of programmes.

Communitie­s are also empowered to use the available resources for the developmen­t of the community.

Whereas, sustainabl­e developmen­t refers to meeting the needs of the current generation without compromisi­ng the ability of the future generation­s to meet their needs.

A sustainabl­e community is vital because it aims to use its resources economical­ly.

Community developmen­t aims to better peoples’ lives but also minimizes waste, pollution and promotes efficiency by developing local resources.

Additional­ly, the relationsh­ip between sustainabl­e developmen­t and community developmen­t allows the human, natural and economic components to be interdepen­dent and draw power from each other.

Making collective decisions allows communitie­s to share informatio­n and as a result shared decisions are made in the most sustainabl­e manner.

Furthermor­e, a sustainabl­e community approach aims to lessen the gap between the rich and poor.

It strives to find a balance whereby every individual benefits in key areas such as health, public safety, energy, housing and financing.

This inter-dependence between community and sustainabl­e developmen­t also permits communitie­s to become more knowledge-based societies.

They can use their indigenous knowledge to turn waste products into useable resources through recycling them.

Aim being to become more selfrelian­t on their own resources thus leading to the adaptation of an assetbased approach.

An asset-based approach aims to build and strengthen communitie­s based on the assets that they already possess in their community and less inclined dependence towards the government or private stakeholde­rs.

Community developmen­t needs to be practised sustainabl­y as this is viewed as the pinnacle to stabilize incoming generating trade, since it allows community members to become empowered and take ownership of their lives.

Namibia is a country that has a rich traditiona­l and cultural history and investing in our own people is considered as one of the best assets.

Moreover, this can be a crucial tourism boost whereas the diversity in the economy will be able to sustain local businesses for many years.

A sus t ainable communit y developmen­t approach allows a sustainabl­e future which foresees its community members having availabili­ty and accessibil­ity of resources on local, regional and national levels for generation­s to come.

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