Incremental Housing Project in Salima, Malawi

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Focus Areas: Housing

This project, which began in 2013, involves the incremental construction of forty (40) houses in the Salima district. The construction happens in three phases and the complete unit will have three bedrooms, a sitting room, kitchen, storeroom, and external toilet and bathroom. The Alliance acts as the contractor for the project, helping to minimise repayment challenges. The beneficiaries are responsible for site management. Federation involvement in this way helps to ensure that the project is completed within the necessary timeframe. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the Alliance and the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development (MLHUD) giving the former access to the National Slum Upgrading Fund for a period of five years. This enabled the project to get US$40,000. This is the first project to benefit from this fund, setting a good precedent for Government addressing challenges faced by the urban poor. 

Location: Salima, Malawi

Deliverables:

The incremental construction of forty (40) households. The Council provided the piece of land on which thirty-one (31) houses and their Ecosan toilets have been constructed at the project site thus far. Twenty-two (22) of these houses are now being occupied. An additional one hundred and seventy-two (172) households have accessed loans for home improvements. Some of the house owners used the loans to plaster and put cement floor screed whilst others bought iron sheets for roofing. A further forty-one (41) households also accessed loans for the construction of Ecosan toilets. 

Community capacity:

The community members, in their various savings groups, are saving to meet some of the costs of construction material for their houses. Three builders in the area have been trained in the construction and maintenance of Ecosan toilets whilst twenty-one (21) households trained in the use and management of Ecosan toilets. Community capacity was also further developed through exchange visits with other savings groups. 

Scale:

There is potential for the project to be scaled up to town-level as there are more households who have asked for assistance with accessing land and housing. 

Impact:

The project serves as an example of how access to land and housing in smaller towns can be facilitated in smaller towns. Coonsequently, it is an example of how housing shortages in smaller towns can be addressed. 

Finance:

SDI Contributions:

SDI contributed US$75,000.00

Resources Leveraged:

The Federation was able to leverage funding from the Government through its National Slum Upgrading Fund (NSUF). 

State Subsidy:

The State subsidy was in the form of land, which was provided by the Local Council as well as funding which was provided through the NSUF.

Market Generated Returns:

None to date.

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: 14 December 2015

Project in depth

Detailed Information

The Malawi Alliance of the Centre for Community Organisation and Development (CCODE) and The Federation of Rural and Urban Poor (also referred to as the Malawi Federation) started this project in 2013. It is a response to the need for improved housing facilities for lower income groups in the district. 
 
The Project is being implemented in the town of Salima, which is one hundred kilometres (100km) from Lilongwe. The project involves the construction of low cost housing and it targets the urban poor. 

Deliverables:

The intention was to incrementally develop forty (40) houses in a town which is growing rapidly as a result of urbanisation. Once the housing construction was underway, it was noted that sanitation remained a significant challenge. The Federation then set out to build sanitation infrastructure, namely two toilet blocks as well as Ecosan toilets. As of June 2015, one hundred and ninety-three (193) Ecosan toilets had been constructed, two hundred and thirteen beneficiaries had received home improvement loans and thirty-two owner-occupied houses have been constructed.

Community capacity:

The intention was to provide community members with the necessary training to enable them to effectively participate in the construction and management of their houses as well as the toilets. The project's technical team was comprised of savings groups members who were responsible for mobilising communities, vetting beneficiaries, training their peers in the use and management of toilets as well as being responsible for collecting the loans and monitoring the project. 

Community capacity was also developed through exchange visits. These visits have allowed the project to grow as they were able to share techniques on mobilisation and how to work with various other stakeholders.

Scale:

There are more households wishing to be involved in the project so combined with Government financial assistance, there are prospects for going to scale at the town level. Challenges to this and the project include increasing construction costs caused by increasing inflation. However, in order for this to occur, Government needs to commit to resolving housing, and broadly speaking basic services-related challenges, in smaller towns.

Impact:

This is a precedent setting project, which has the ability to impact how the Malawi Government not only thinks about but also addresses the housing challenges faced by the urban poor in small towns. 

Finance:

SDI Contributions:

SDI contributed US75,000.00 of which US$15,000 went towards project-linked technical assistance.

Resources Leveraged:

The Salima Federation negotiated with local authorities, including chiefs, to obtain the land they obtained for construction. The Federation has a working relationship with the local authorities which helped this project; Government was willing to provide land and tenure to Federation members. 

State Subsidy:

The State subsidy was in the form of land and funding through the NSUF.

Market Generated Returns:

None to date.

Costs recovered from community:

Loan repayments will begin once the housing units are complete. The loans will be repaid over an eight (8) year period. The repayments will be recycled to help new beneficiaries build houses and/or make home improvements.

There may be some delays in the construction as increasing inflation has resulted in the construction costs also going up. 

Malawi Homeless Peoples Federation & Centre for Community Organisation and Devleopment. (2009). Report on Preparatory Works for UPFI Projects in Malawi, July 2009. [Online]. Available: http://sdinet.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Malawi_Report_to_UPFI_.pdf
 
Manda, M.Z. (2007). Mchenga - Urban Poor Housing Fund in Malawi, Environment & Urbanisation, 19(2): 337 - 359. Available: http://old.sdinet.org/media/upload/documents/EU2007192Manda.pdf
 
Mwau, B., Schermbrucker, N. & Kumar, A. (2012). Malawi Community Planning Studio: Urban Planning Education and Applied Research in Sub-Saharan Africa. [Online]. Available: https://www.citiesalliance.org/sites/citiesalliance.org/files/cover_Malawi_Studios_Booklet-Final-low_resolution.pdf.
 
Omondi, C. (2015). Malawi, Where No Rural Home 'Makes a Statement',  Africa Review. [Online]. Available: http://www.africareview.com/Special-Reports/Malawi-where-no-rural-home-makes-a-statement/-/979182/2926534/-/jg8t13/-/index.html

Funding Information

Raised:

$75,000.00

Funding type:

Grant funding

Implementing Partners

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation


Centre for Community Organisation & Development (CCODE)


The Federation of Rural and Urban poor