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report of The Portfolio Committee on Public Works and National Housing
on constitutionalisation of housing
January 15, 2011
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Committee on Public works and National Housing resolved to get an
appreciation of how sector stakeholders to the Ministry of National
Housing and Social Amenities supported the activities of communities
in addressing housing issues. Furthermore, The Committee sought
to understand the processes these communities used to secure land,
develop infrastructure and houses as well as the challenges encountered
in order to find the possible ways to overcome these challenges.
It also resolved to establish the effectiveness and efficiency of
the housing delivery options and support programmes available to
the stakeholders. These resolutions were arrived at after the realization
that solutions and recommendations on housing issues made at both
the Victoria Falls Communiqué and the National Housing Convention
were good but would not offer short-term and immediate solutions
to the escalating housing crisis in our nation. Thus, the committee
sought to discover, through visiting Epworth and Kariba Town Housing
Projects supported by Zimbabwe Homeless Peoples’ Federation
in partnership with Dialogue on Shelter for the Homeless in Zimbabwe
Trust, the strategies that they are employing. The committee then
consolidated a position to this cross cutting- issue after consultations
with sector stakeholders.
of the visit were as follows:
- To appreciate
the interface between the Ministry, Local Authorities and the
- To understand
the pro- poor development strategies used to address poverty and
- To develop
a wealthy first- hand information from poor communities that defines
their own settlement realities.
- To recommend
to the Executive specific actions to take in order to address,
alleviate and rectify human settlement shortcomings.
employed the following methods in order to achieve its goals:
submission from the National Housing Convention
- Oral evidence
from Ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities.
- Oral briefing
from sector stakeholders
- Study visits
on an incremental approach
Building Workshop with the Ministry of National Housing and Social
Amenities in partnership with sector stakeholders.
of the Committee
Summary of the Pro-poor Development Strategies used
Prior to conducting
infrastructure and housing projects on a big scale, Zimbabwe Homeless
Peoples’ Federation (ZHPF) undertakes pilot projects either
through a house model or pilot sanitation blocks exhibitions.
These pilots and house models serve four purposes as follows:
- To showcase
their capabilities and practicalities of their solutions.
- To demonstrate
new innovations regarding urban challenges.
- To provide
a training platform and develop skills in readiness for the subsequent
scaled-up projects or replication on a wider scale.
- To make negotiations
with local authorities and central government easier through witnessing
Members of the
Zimbabwe Homeless Peoples’ Federation create grassroots-centered
pools of funds through housing savings schemes. These are augmented
by external funds outsourced from funders channelled through Dialogue
on Shelter. The financial resources mobilized are then used to negotiate
with Local Authorities and government for securing affordable land.
Members are allocated virgin land that they service after negotiating
then uses the model of incremental development whereby priority
is given to the most important facilities and then gradually followed
by the least basic ones. Incremental development is done on either
infrastructure or housing development. Water and sewer are put first
while roads come at a later stage on infrastructure development.
At the beginning those basic services are used communally, and then
families graduate into individualized connections when they can
In housing development,
poor communities start both with a single or two-roomed unit with
a temporary toilet and a stand – pipe and upgrade their structures
until the whole house is complete.
During the incremental
development process, a contractor could be engaged but the members
would be involved actively from the design process to clearing and
installation of sewer and water services in order to cut costs.
- Epworth Local Board
It was submitted
to the Committee with regret that about 1% of the houses in the
area meet the housing standards. It was also pointed out that over
65% of the people in the town are informally settled. There are
seven wards in Epworth of which wards 1 to 6 have numerous people
in informal settlement while a few are formally settled in serviced
stands. All ward seven people are informally settled in unserviced
Homeless People’s Federation has over 40 000 people with 27chapters
countrywide and has a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry
of National Housing and Social Amenities of how their federation
works. The members who are largely women provide cheap labour to
build their own houses whilst they contract an expert builder to
supervise their work. They also involve council inspectors who come
at every stage of building and assess whether their structures are
in line with the recommended standards.
paid to the council by all landowners. Lodgers pay $25 to landlords
while the landlords in turn pay $12 to the Local Board. Every landowner
pays these rates irrespective of whether their stands are among
those serviced by the board or not. The burden of servicing the
wards has been thrusted on everybody’s shoulder.
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