Recipients of 2023 Go Green Fund announced
The Go Green Fund Review Panel, consisting of NNF and Nedbank representatives, played a crucial role in evaluating and selecting projects. The panel faced the daunting task of shortlisting projects from the wealth of creative ideas presented. Ultimately, six initiatives from a total of 45 applications emerged as the recipients of the 2023 Go Green Fund grants.
Speaking at the event, Nedbank’s executive of treasury, Stuart Main, conveyed that the initiative represents more than mere financial support but symbolises a shared commitment to a sustainable future for Namibia, ensuring prosperity for generations to come.
Established in 2001, the Go Green Fund is a grant facility designed to enhance conservation efforts, protect critical habitats, and support initiatives geared towards a sustainable future in Namibia. To date approximately 170 conservation and environmental projects have received support from the Fund. The 2023 Go Green Fund focused on the theme of ‘Green Urbanism’, inviting proposals that showcased innovation and creativity to boost sustainable urbanisation.
The call for proposals, which ran from August to September 2023, sparked a positive response, with 45 innovative projects seeking to redefine sustainability in Namibia's urban landscapes. The selected focus areas—including improvement of urban water and sanitation, sustainable urban agriculture, urban greening initiatives, zero-waste initiatives, and environmental education—reflected a shared vision for an eco-friendlier and more resilient Namibia.
One of the recipients of the Fund’s support is the Namib Desert Environmental Education Trust (NaDEET), a non-profit organisation whose objective is to improve tertiary-level students' environmental engagement, knowledge and agency, advancing waste management and campus greening initiatives through education and community engagement. NaDEET received a grant of N$140 000 for their project that is set to run from January 2024 to January 2026.
The Urban Agriculture Training Programme, at the COSDEF (Community Skills Development Fund) Centre in Swakopmund, received N$120 000. The project will provide food security and jobs by training 60 unemployed women and youth to grow vegetables and reduce food waste through composting; the project will run from January 1st, 2024, until December 31st, 2024.
The Opuwo Town Green Spaces project, set to be facilitated by the Opuwo Town Council in received a sum of N$120,000. This one-year project aims to transform Opuwo into a greener town by planting trees in public spaces to enhance aesthetics, reduce dust, and improve residents’ well-being.
Another notable recipient is the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia’s (SDFN) Shack Dwellers Gardening Project in Luderitz. The three-year initiative, running from January 2024 to end 2026, received a grant of N$120 000 and the funds will go towards setting up a community garden to grow vegetables for consumption and income generation, thus contributing to food security for approximately 300 people in Lüderitz.
The Keetmanshoop Secondary School Garden received support to the value of N$40 000 to aid their mission to cultivate nourishment for vulnerable learners. The Garden Project will provide training in gardening skills, enhance soil quality, supply the school's soup kitchen, and establish an irrigation system for one year, from January 2024 to December 2024.
The sixth and final Fund beneficiary is the Okahandja Action Force. Their Green Sustainable Waste Management and Recycling Initiative is geared towards restoring Okahandja's appearance through waste management, recycling, and community awareness campaigns. The Project received a grant of N$60,000 to support their work from in 2024.
In her address, Main also lauded Honourable Heather Sibungo, Deputy Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, for the role the ministry plays towards proactive environmental action. "The Ministry has become a true custodian of proactive environmental engagement. The Honourable Deputy Minister would be the first to acknowledge the extensive journey ahead. True impact requires more than dialogue; it demands action”, he affirmed.
Nedbank Namibia has been a leader in environmental sustainability for many years, not only through the Go Green Fund. Their green head office in Windhoek received a prestigious six-star rating from the Green Building Council of South Africa. As a responsible corporate citizen, Nedbank emphasises sharing of expertise and forming partnerships, beyond mere financial contributions.
The Go Green Fund's positive impact over the past two decades showcases how private corporations, in collaboration with civil society, can contribute significantly to Namibia's sustainable development. Nedbank Namibia remains dedicated to its vision of being the most admired financial services provider in Africa, driving positive change and environmental stewardship.