Blantyre House Improvements

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Focus Areas: Housing

This project, which began in 2012, sees the upgrading of structures in Machinjiri, Blantyre.  The project was funded using the Federation's revolving funds. The project forms part of the citywide slum upgrading strategy for Blantyre. 

Location: Machinjiri, Blanytre, Malawi

Deliverables:

Home improvements undertaken during this project comprise mainly of the upgrading of the structure using more permanent construction material: from grass thatch to iron sheets; from mud to cement screed floors; from unburnt bricks or mud to burnt or concrete bricks for the walls. 

Community capacity:

The community members are trained in areas of procurement and financial management. All the procurement of materials is done by communities themselves. The same community members are also the ones who are driving the slum upgrading program - they are thus at the centre stage of the project.

Through this process the Federation has built a stronger foundation for savings, with Federation members moving from saving for consumption to saving for upgrading and home improvements. 

Scale:

The project, as an element of the broader slum upgrading project, has the potential of being scaled up to other districts and cities.Slum upgrading projects have spilled over to the neighbouring districts of Mulanje, Chikhwawa and Machinga. Many households are interested in improving their living conditions. 

Impact:

The project has gone a long way towards improving the living conditions of the project beneficiaries. Furthermore, the Malawi Alliance has, through their partnership with the Blantyre City Council, made space for slum upgrading as an item on the city budget and influenced the decision to implement a participatory budgeting process that includes the urban poor in the decision making process.

Finance:

SDI Contributions:

SDI contributed US$20,000.00

Resources Leveraged:

Additional resources have been leveraged through community contributions; households were able to contribute some of the construction material and unskilled labour which led to a reduction of the required loaned capital. 

The project is linked to two other projects and their funding systems: (1) Ecosan toilets implemented in Mulanje funded by Practical Action. (2) "Improving Access to Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor" in the city of Blantyre funded by the African Water Facility.

Costs recovered from community:

None to date.

Patrick Chikoti patrickchikoti@gmail.com (+265) 1 756 781 View Website
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Project information updated: 25 January 2016

Project in depth

Detailed Information

This project sees The Federation of Rural and Urban Poor and the Malawi Alliance of Centre for Community Organisation and Development (CCODE) respond to the demand for housing improvements in Machinjiri settlement in Blantyre in 2012. It forms part of the citywide slum upgrading programme for the city.
The relationship between this project and the 7/10 Cities Project project will help communities in showcasing the results of the slum upgrading processes. The project is also linked to another capital project being funded by the African Water Facility called "Improving Access to Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor" in the city of Blantyre.

Deliverables:

The initial aim was to improve sixty-four (64) houses. However, the number of houses that have been improved to date has increased to two hundred and thirteen (213).

Community capacity:

The project on the one hand has clearly improved the visibility of the Federation and on the other hand has added value to the Federation process. The challenges being identified by the communities are being solved through the project. It has also created a platform where the communities are able to discuss their problems with the resource holding authorities. 

Scale:

However, before expanding the project into other areas the Alliance has to think about the funding. Since the Federation is delivering a complete package there is therefore a need to mobilise more capital to aid the facilitation of this process. Considering this will prevent the Federation from raising expectation it cannot manage.

Impact:

The Federation has continued working with Government departments in the various districts where the the project is being implemented. This work relationship has opened the doors to different Government offices. 

The project's impact has been limited somewhat by high inflation rates. This has resulted in a depletion of the funds' purchasing power. In order to hedge the fund from the high inflation rate, the Mchenga Fund has increased the interest rate from two percent (2%) to four percent (4%). The repayment period has also been reduced.

Finance:

SDI Contributions:

SDI contributed US$20,000.00 towards capital expenses. 

Resources Leveraged:

The Federation is leveraging the relationships it has formed with various Government departments to negotiate for the establishment of an urban poor fund (city level fund) to which the Government will contribute some resources. Such a fund will help improve the delivery of services for the poor in conjunction with the efforts of other stakeholders.

Market Generated Returns:

None to date.

Costs recovered from community:

None to date however, beneficiaries have contributed to the project through sweat equity – in the form of (unskilled) labour. They have also contributed some of the construction materials. This means that capital required when disbursing loans is reduced. 

CCODE & Malawi Homeless People's Federation. (2014). Building Citywide Sanitation Strategies from the Bottom Up: A Stuational Analysis for Blantyre City, Malawi. Available: http://r4d.dfid.gov.uk/pdf/outputs/sanitation/SHAREResearchReport_Malawi_final.pdf
 
Cities Alliance. (n.d.). Malawi City Development Strategy and Slum Upgrading Programme (CDS/SUP) Framework Phase I. [Online]. Available: http://www.citiesalliance.org/ca_projects/detail/18290
 
UN-Habitat. (2012). Better Cities, Better Life in Malawi. [Online]. Available; http://mirror.unhabitat.org/content.asp?cid=10747&catid=592&typeid=6

Funding Information

Raised:

$20,000.00

Funding type:

Grant funding

Implementing Partners

Centre for Community Organisation & Development (CCODE)