Welcome to Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia

By September 2020 the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia (SDFN), is made out of 851 saving groups, has over 26,000 members in 14 regions of Namibia, saved over N$ 31 million and built over 6,000 houses.

Community Saving

Community saving is the SDFN cornerstone to organize communities and the development of households participating in the SDFN saving groups. Each group manages its own savings account. When there are sufficient funds the group may put a deposit on a piece of land. The local authorities should provide the land, but in reality, this is still the main obstacle. Payments for the provided land are made to the respective local authorities over a ten-year period. The saved money can also be used to meet basic and daily needs as well as to secure further funding. Every six months each a SDFN group is visited by members of another group for an “audit” of their saving books.

Women Empowerment

The activities of NHAG/SDFN have a visible impact on women empowerment in Namibia. Women largely and actively participate in all federation activities, within all 14 regions of Namibia. The processes of forming saving groups, engaging in community-based land tenure and upscaling informal settlement upgrading, have been mainly driven by women. In June 2019 of the 26,118 SDFN members, almost 18,000 were women. Women have been empowered through active participation in SDFN, which has given the opportunity to break away from top-down leadership that had traditionally made people apathetic.

Private Sector Engagement

In recent years there has been a increased and significant contribution in private sector funding towards the construction of houses. Currently the following companies contributed not only to the construction of SDFN houses but also assisted the Shack Dwellers Federation with technical- and capacity building: Standard Bank of Namibia’s through ist Buy-a-Brick Initiative; MTC and Huawei contributing significantly to the Buy-a-Brick Initiative; First National Bank of Namibia; The Harold Pupkewitz Foundation; Ohorongo Cement; Neo Paints; B2Gold (Otjikoto Mine).

Historical Timeline of SDFN and NHAG


Residents in overcrowded rental rooms and hidden backyard structures start organising savings groups in order to improve their poor living conditions.


Namibian Independence


Namibia Housing Action Group (NHAG) is established to support the saving groups as an umbrella organisation.


The Twahangana Fund is established by communities, as a community managed revolving fund of the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia.


The Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia (SDFN) is founded by 30 saving groups, which operated since the late eighties.


Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Standard Bank Namibia, SDFN and NHAG is signed.

The Community Land Information Clip Program (CLIP) is launched


20 Years of Nambia Housing Action Group (NHAG).


First Lady Monica Geingos becomes the patron of SDFN.

Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) and SDFN/NHAG sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).


Ohorongo Cement, Pupkewitz Foundation and FNB Foundation formalized their development partnership through a formal agreement requiring each partner to put one million dollars in cash or kind, to support the activities of the Shack Dwellers Federation.


20 years of Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia (SDFN).

Association of Local Authority in Namibia (ALAN), SDFN and NHAG singed Memorandum of Understanding


MTC together with Huawei, donated N$13 million towards the Buy-a-Brick Initiative.

SDI Community-Led Award: SDFN and NHAG through a partnership with NUST, local and central government and the private sector, won this international award.