Greenfield Housing Construction in Choma, Zambia

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Focus Areas: Housing

This project, which began in 2010, involves the construction of two hundred and fifty (250) houses on greenfield sites in Choma. The land was given to the slum dwellers by the Choma Municipal Council (CMC).

Location: Choma, Zambia

Deliverables:

To date, one hundred and seventy-eight (178) out of a total of two hundred and fifty (250) houses have been built in Choma. The houses are eighty-eight square metres (88m2) and are built incrementally starting with two (2) roomed structures with a provision for extension. 

Community capacity:

The Federation is involved in the material buying process. This gives them a sense of ownership in the building process. During Federation meetings, the tasks such as building, meeting with the local authority and the utility company are divided amongst Federation members.

Federations signed an memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Council which guaranteed access to more land once all plots have been used. This process focuses on developing Federation capacity through practical skills learning, working in conjunction with the  People's Process on Housing and Poverty in Zambia (PPHPZ). Beneficiaries planned and built their houses with support from Council in the form of planners, engineers, and surveyors which decreased cost of construction. Low cost technologies like burnt earth bricks and iron sheeting for roofing are used, which also helps make the materials more affordable.

Scale:

The project has already grown since its initial conception from one hundred (100) plots to one hundred and seventy-eight (178) on the first plot of land. Even though progress has been made regarding some construction and relationships with Council, scaling up is contingent on municipalities providing more land as well as faster construction and improvements in loan repayment rates.

Impact:

The local authority now accepts incremental building processes. It also accepts the use of burnt bricks for construction, which are made from locally available materials. The beneficiaries now have secure tenure following the re-demarcation exercise. There is also an increased sense of ownership of the project by Federation members as they gain a greater understanding of the loan repayment procedures.

Finance:

SDI Contributions:

SDI contributed US$300,000.00

Resources Leveraged:

The Alliance has leveraged an existing MoU with the Choma Municipal Council to access resources such as technical support at no cost or at minimal cost as well as access to equipment.

State Subsidy:

The State subsidy was in the form of land (a greenfield site) in Choma at no cost. Houses could be constructed on the site for at least one hundred and seventy-eight (178) slum dwellers. 

Market Generated Returns:

None to date.

Costs recovered from community:

To date US$16,600.00 has been repaid.

Nelson Ncube nelson@peoplesprocess.org.zm (+260) 211 230 156 View Website
Project social media channels:


Project information updated: 12 January 2016

Project in depth

Detailed Information

The Zambian Alliance of the Zambia Homeless and Poor People’s Federation (ZHPPF) and People’s Process on Housing and Poverty in Zambia (PPHPZ) embarked on this project in 2010. It responds to the need for housing and basic services, a matter at the heart of the many challenges facing the urban poor in Zambia. The Choma community organized themselves in response to this, developing strategies to improve their lives and began lobbying the Municipal Council for land to address their shelter needs. After continued engagement the Municipality offered the Choma Federation one hundred (100) plots (which was later re-demarcated to two hundred and sixteen (216) plots). Choma is located in Zambia's Southern Province and has a population of between 45,000 and 50,000. The economy is primarily based on agriculture. The Federation process in Choma began in 2006.

Deliverables:

The intention is to construct two hundred and fifty (250) houses on a greenfield site in Choma. Water infrastructure has been provided on site with the assistance of Water Aid Zambia. This infrastructure provides water to the whole settlement as well as to surrounding settlements, which are able to tap into the pipes.

Community capacity:

PPHPZ arranged an exchange for Choma Municipal officials to visit Zimbabwe. On this visit they learnt about the partnerships between the Zimbabwean Federation and Local Authorities to provide low cost housing to the poor. Dialogue sessions between the Federation and the Council have been held, to revisit the terms of the MoU and to discuss land access for the poor. Outcomes of these meetings include the District commissioner allocating a grader to upgrade access roads to the project site.

The Federation has continued with its rituals although some members struggle with saving. However, as the construction process has begun, this has given the Choma Federation a new lease on life, whose participation in Federation rituals began to slump when there were delays. Both Federation and non-Federation members support each other in the construction process on-site.

Scale:

The initial plan was to allocate plots and build houses for one hundred families. However, the plot was large enough to accomodate approximately one hundred and seventy-eight (178) families.

Impact:

The Federation process, as the Local Authority notes, is having a positive impact on the area's economy. The purchase of locally produced building materials is benefitting local businesses. In addition to this, the construction process provides work opportunities for local artisans. Overall, the process is helping to uplift the lives of a great number of Federation and non-Federation families. 

Finance:

SDI Contributions:

SDI contributed US$300,000.00. Of this amount US$60,000.00 went towards project linked technical assistance. 

State Subsidy:

The State subsidy was in the form of land and technical assistance.

Market Generated Returns:

None to date. 

Costs recovered from community:

To date US$16,600.00 has been repaid, which is almost half of the total project cost. Measures have been implemented to encourage loan defaulters to resume payments. Reminder letters, followed by warnings, have been distributed to Federation members in all ten (10) savings schemes in the region. As a last resort, and after warning letters have been sent, houses and plots will be repossessed for those who continue to default.

[VIDEO] PPHPZ. (2009). People's Process on Housing and Poverty in Zambia - Choma Housing Project. [Online]. Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ap3SXDZmdsE
 
Mwale, M. & Nkhoma, T. (2015). Stories from the Zambian Homeless People's Federation. [Online]. Available: http://sdinet.org/2015/01/stories-from-the-zambian-homeless-peoples-federation

Funding Information

Raised:

$300,000.00

Funding type:

Grant funding

Implementing Partners

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation


Sida (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency)


People's Process on Housing & Poverty (PPHPZ)