Kitwe, Mongu, and Choma Housing: Kitwe Kawama Housing DevelopmentBack To Projects
This project, which began in 2008, sees the construction of one hundred one roomed houses in the Kalalushi settlement in Kitwe, Mongu and Choma. After negotiating and purchasing land from the Kitwe City Council (KCC), the Federation worked with the Kitwe slum community to design and implement the Kitwe Kawama Housing development project.Location: Kalalushi, Kitwe, Zambia
To date almost fifty (50) houses have been completed and local authorities have given the go ahead for another fifty (50). The houses are built incrementally (meaning progress in construction is made in line with loan repayment) using low cost materials – burnt earth blocks and hydraform interlocking bricks. The houses are also designed to include individual toilets and showers for each family.
As of June 2011, the Kitwe project phase one is about to be completed with almost fifty (50) houses being at a stage of completion. A progress report was recently submitted to the Local Authority, which then gave go ahead for the second lot of fifty (50) plots. The Kitwe project is an example of how poor people can build incrementally using two low cost technologies.Community capacity:
The process is driven by the Federation, who have split into working groups which work on the site on alternate days. The KCC has been involved in this project, contributing technical support in supporting the Federation in grading roads, helping them build in accordance with planning regulations, conducting environmental impact assessments and giving concessions on home and site plans. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the Alliance and the KCC. Relationships built with City authorities through this project have helped inform a change in practice. The Federation has shown the city the benefits of incremental upgrading, through their planning and construction. Local exchanges to the site happen monthly, showing the potential for scaling up.
Local exchanges have also risen in number with a maximum of seven exchanges happening almost every month.Scale:
By and large, the Federation has scaled up from a citywide outlook to a more national one.Impact:
The ability to engage Government has resulted in the signing of memorandums of understanding in which local authorities have shown commitment to support the Federation's work by acknowledging communal land tenure holding (which is against conventional procedure). Government has also provided technical support at no or minimal cost and continues to listen to poor communities when they knock on the doors of Government offices as well as involving them in planning and implementation of activities.Finance: SDI Contributions:
SDI contributed US$30,000.00Resources Leveraged:
The key resource leveraged in this project was technical assistance from Government. This assistance was given to the Federation on the basis of the MoU that had been signed by the Alliance and KCC.State Subsidy:
The State subsidy in this project was in the form of technical assistance.Market Generated Returns:
None to date.Costs recovered from community:
None to date.
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Project information updated: 15 December 2015
Project in depth
The Kitwe Kawama Housing Development came as a response to the housing problems and poor living conditions faced by federation members living n Kitwe. Many of the residents had been faced with evictions, whilst others had their structures demolished. Apart from that the houses were of poor quality and some would collapse following heavy downpours. Security of tenure had become a major issue. The Federation with the support of PPHPZ began negotiations with the local authority and secured land on which one hundred and fifty (150) plots are to be developed in phases. By following an incremental approach the Federation aim to address housing problems affordably.
A number of evictions took place in Kitwe and these evictions have not spared Federation members. This is one of the reasons why the Kitwe Kawama Housing Project was initiated. The aim of the project was to avoid future evictions and to assist the Federation secure tenure of the land. The project is to be used as a model that Local Government can utilise, in collaboration with the Federation, for future development projects for and by the urban poor.
This project focuses on incremental building with the goal of constructing one hundred (100) houses; fifty houses (50) in the first phase of construction followed by another fifty (50) houses in the second phase. These were the initial intended outcomes. Now, one hundred and fifty (150) plots are to be developed in phases. After completion of the first ten houses, construction of the next forty houses has continued at different levels. It is worth noting that in this phase, some families are using burnt bricks and some are using hydraform.
The Kitwe Kawama Housing Development initially aims to benefit fifty (50) households comprised of Federation members in the first phase. It is hoped that the majority of beneficiaries will be women. The beneficiaries will have legal status, and will be freed from the burden of monthly rentals and fear of eviction. The development site is set in area accessible to basic amenities including water, sewer lines, roads and electricity. Initially when water was first put on site the Federation paid the commercial tariffs, but this was unaffordable and the Federation soon ran into arrears. After a series of negotiations, the Federation has since been migrated to low cost residential tariff and at this stage they are managing to pay their water bills, which are around US$20.00 per month.
Housing forums as well as exchange visits have also been conducted. Government and other stakeholders are invited to the housing forums. This has raised interest in urban poverty and improving living conditions for urban poor communities. The forums are used as a platform to advocate for alternative, low-cost housing technologies and approaches to housing construction such as incremental building. An example is the use burnt bricks whilst still maintaining the required standard by the local authority. As part of the Habitat forum under auspices of the Ministry of Local Government and Housing (MLGH) we are able make contributions to policy and practice changes as our contributions feed into recommendations that the MLGH submit to parliament. The Town and Country Planning Act and the Housing (Statutory and Improvement Areas Act) are currently being reviewed in parliament. In the past officials from the Council attended an exchange visit to Namibia. This gave the Local Authority insight into what they could achieve through partnership with the Federation to address the housing shortage and the lack of security of tenure. Now the Alliance often visits the Council whenever support is required.
Exchanges have also served to ensure that beneficiaries repay their loans as savings and participation remain a central part of the Federation's activities.Scale:
The Federation recognises that there is a greater need for Government to subsidize the housing developments be it through land, material support, or technical assistance in order to make decent housing and better living more accessible to urban poor communities.
Federation membership continues to grow mainly as a result of mobilisation activities, exchanges, radio programmes, enumerations (settlement profiling) and the mobile health clinics.Impact:
The project showcases the possibilities that pooling resources and being committed to the process can achieve. The proactive approach has given the Federation a voice and this has much more significance in bringing about change in the way Government and others look at poor people. The Federation attends meetings with Government in a bid to make their needs and efforts known as well as to negotiate for support. Letters to seek an audience have been written to the town clerk.Finance: SDI Contributions:
SDI contributed US$30,000.00 of which US$5,000.00 was used for project-linked technical assistance.Resources Leveraged:
In this instance land had been allocated by Kitwe City Council at a rebate cost from market value. The Federations continue to negotiate with Government for subsidies to complement resources mobilised by the Alliance.State Subsidy:
The State subsidy was in the form of technical assistance as well as concessions on house and site plans.Market Generated Returns:
None to date.Costs recovered from community:
Efforts towards loan repayments are being made with members being consistent with repayments even of small amounts. Despite the struggles members recognise that greater efforts must made. Thus, some have opted to rent part of the space in their homes, and others are hopeful with the onset of the rains, a good harvest will give them the extra income which will help over their loan repayments. Loan repayment rates currently stand at approximately eighty-six percent (86.39%).
Sustainability is ensured in this project through repayment of loans. The establishment of a revolving fund allows for the number of beneficiaries to increase through the provision of more loans. Savings as a Federation ritual continues to be practiced throughout the project. The savings groups have worked together, planned and strategized on how best to ensure the project is a success.
UN-HABITAT. (2012). Zambia Urban Housing Sector Profile. [Online]. Available: http://www.iut.nu/Facts%20and%20figures/Africa/Zambia_UrbanHousingProfileUN_Habitat2012.pdf.
Urban Gateway. (2012). Zambia Holds National Housing Forum. [Online]. Available: http://www.urbangateway.org/content/news/zambia-holds-national-housing-forum.