Posts for Zambia
SDI is happy to annouce our 2011/12 Annual Report, a reflection of where SDI has grown to over the past 25 years. This includes a discussion of SDI's practices for change, a report on the SDI Secretariat, the building of internal reporting and documentation systems, and SDI's international advocacy and increasing presence on the global stage. The report concludes with a discussion of SDI's approach to key urban issues affecting the lives of the urban poor across the developing south, including water and sanitation, climate change, natural disasters, incremental habitat, enumerations and mapping of slum settlements, and financing slum upgrading.
For the complete document, click here.
By Jack Makau, SDI Secretariat
A forum of African city governments with the support of SDI will organize the third SDI dialogue on citywide slum upgrading later in 2012. This key agreement was arrived at the second dialogue held at the end of March in Harare, Zimbabwe. The agreement represents a deepening of relationships, not only between national SDI federations and the their local authorities, but also the linkages between cities around shared approaches to slum upgrading. The need for connectivity and continuation between the Dialogues was accentuated in the event’s concluding remarks by dialogue moderator, Beth Chitekwe-Biti.
While the first dialogue, held in September 2011 in Uganda, invited the participation of local authorities, the Zimbabwe Dialogue was hosted by the city of Harare and presided over by the Mayor, His Worship Muchadeyi Masunda. In his opening address, Masunda emphasized the importance of synergies between cities, slum dwellers federations with the support of donor agencies. He cited the USD 5 million support to Harare by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that has enabled the city to have productive engagement with the Zimbabwe Homeless People’s Federation. This, he said, has provided a basis for interaction and learning between the city council of Harare and other city councils both in Zimbabwe and around Africa.
The Harare Dialogue drew in city authorities from the southern African cities of Harare, Windhoek, Lilongwe, and Lusaka as well as the Zimbabwean towns of Bulawayo, Chinhoyi, and Kariba. Speaking at the Dialogue, the Town Clerk of Lusaka in Zambia, Mr. Andrew Mwanakulange further underscored the need for a regional city fora, around which the next dialogue would be organized. “It is effective if we reach out to our counterparts in Luanda, Nairobi and so on, to be part of this effort”, he said.
Accompanying the city officials to the dialogues were representatives of the slum dweller federations and planning school professors from each of the cities. The participation of universities marked a second stream of partnerships that the Dialogue sought to animate. Prof Peter Ngau, from the University of Nairobi, said, “one of our key purposes of being here is because we have been discussing change of the teaching curriculum to reflect the realities that our cities are trying to address”. In 2009 SDI signed a memorandum of understanding with the Association of African Planning Schools that aims to lend advocacy and technical support capacities to the citywide slum upgrading approaches being applied by the slum dweller federations.
Each of the city-federation-university delegations made presentations on progress on their joint work. A key concern was the lack of a monitoring framework that could be used to assess progress achieved between Dialogue sessions and indeed the impact that the partnerships have in their respective cities. A call was made to SDI to facilitate the development of the monitoring framework.
The Harare Dialogue, and the Kampala Dialogue before it are part of SDI’s Seven Cities project series. These projects aim at building new strategies for community driven citywide slum upgrading. The projects aim at inclusive, pro-poor interventions in large informal settlements that will serve as centers for learning. The cities identified for SDI’s seven-city strategy are: Kampala, Blantyre, Accra, Harare, Windhoek and Nairobi in Africa and Mandaue in Philippines
By George Masimba, Dialogue on Shelter
The Zimbabwean Alliance hosted the second National Forum whose theme was ‘strengthening our process through savings’. The Forum which was held in the Midlands Province in Gweru was attended by Federation members from the seven regions namely Harare, Matebeleland South Matebeleland North, Masvingo, Mashonaland West, Manicaland and Midlands.
SDI affiliates from South Africa, Namibia, Malawi and Zambia graced the occasion and assisted greatly with the discussions. The Forum’s main agenda involved presentation of regional reports, reflection on the Federation rituals and drafting of regional work-plans.
The various regions reported how they had expanded the Federation coverage through opening savings schemes in new areas. In areas around Harare, new initiatives like Shamva, Bindura, Guruve and Marondera had now been mobilised whilst Matebeleland South now encorporated areas that include Plumtree, Kezi, Gwambe, Esigodini and Tsholotsho. The countrywide mobilisation of new areas had seen uMfelandawonye chapters grow from 32 areas in 2008 to the current 54 areas. The different regions also reported on the establishment of networks in their areas – a strategy that had seen participation of more members and strengthening of groups through breaking regions into smaller clusters. Networks were also reported to be facilitating the decentralisation of regional budgets.
A majority of savings schemes outlined how they had started the creative usage of savings through the mobilisation of money for buying groceries, pre-purchasing building materials and availing loans for business projects. Some of the products from the business ventures were also on display at the Forum. Harare region, for instance, showcased products from a project that was producing building materials and herbal medicines. The various regions also highlighted that the move to ensure the immediate usage of savings had been necessitated by the lack of trust in the banking sector.
The regional reports were then followed by specific presentations on the Federation rituals and components. Under the health component, it was reported that a pilot mobile clinic had been set up and been functional for close to three months. The clinic was currently stationed at the Crowborough Federation resource centre catering for the wider community as well.
The presentation on land noted that negotiations with both central and local government institutions had since yielded a total of around 5354 stands across the country. Infrastructure was however reported to be the biggest challenge hence there was a now a well-coordinated campaign for alternatives like boreholes and ecological sanitation units. Whilst on one hand lobbying was going on with officials to have buy-in, the Federation’s capacity to build the eco-san toilets was being developed through training sessions and exchange visits. Seven artisans training sessions have so far been conducted in the country’s six regions.
Enumerations as a powerful tool for negotiations had been expanded and sharpened to include mapping. The national enumeration team reported how they had started building and strengthening their teams in preparation for a number of surveys as well as the Harare Slum Upgrading Programme. Lastly, the Forum participants then grouped according to the regions in order to prepare regional work plans on the basis of the different areas’ priorities.
Southern African hub meeting
Consistent with current practice with other SDI hubs, the Southern Hub of Africa met in Zimbabwe around the latter’s National Forum. The five SDI affiliates in attendance appraised each other through country reports.
The Malawians provided feedback pertaining to their National Forum held in 2010 and thanked the other affiliates for their support. The Malawians also reported on a series of exchanges around water and sanitation that had taken place with Zimbabwe. The activities in Malawi had also started to have impact on policy as shown by the Malawian government’s Growth and Development Strategy which was modelled around the Federation concept.
The Zambians indicated that they were currently busy with a number of housing projects as well as building resource centres hence they had plans to strengthen their capacity through artisans training programmes. In addition, the Zambians had scheduled two Forums on Housing and Health in the first half of the year which drew a lot of interest from other affiliates.
In Swaziland, the need for Federation strengthening emerged as the main priority although it was mentioned that interaction with central and local government had significantly improved. A national forum held in December inn Swaziland had helped to boost the savings schemes.
In Harare, the Federation was implementing Slum Upgrading Project in partnership with the City of Harare and already an exchange had taken place with the Malawians around this project. The Zimbabweans noted that there were plans to scale up current health programmes.
In Namibia, a countrywide 5-year programme (Community Land Information Programme CLIP) documenting informal settlements, was reported to be underway. The Namibians also informed the meeting about the pending programmes aimed at supporting the emerging process in Angola.
The South Africans invited other affiliates to their National Forum earmarked for March 2011. In particular, FEDUP requested support on health issues from other affiliates during the Forum.
After the country reports the meeting then went on to discuss the UPFI call for proposals whose sum total for the entire hub was US$100000.00 with a repayment period of 3 years. The affiliates discussed the terms for accessing UPFI funds and the following country-level issues were noted as the basis for allocation;
- Fully-fledged status
- Existing city-wide processes
- Existing revolving community-based loan fund
- Existing country-wide network of federations
- Existing partnerships with government.
On the project level, the following specific considerations were observed as critical for the disbursement of funds;
- Impact – the extent to which a project will yield results and benefit members
- Policy – the extent to which a project will influence central and local government policy
- Leverage – the extent to which a project has scope to attract additional resources
- Innovation – the extent to which the resources will go towards new alternative
- Sustainability – the extent to which the resources will go beyond the project period
In the end, the affiliates agreed on the following allocations for the UPFI call;
|Country||Loan Amount||Project Description|
|South Africa||US$40000.00||Housing project in North West Province|
|Zambia||US$20000.00||Completion of Federation resource centre in Lusaka|
|Malawi||US$20000.00||Construction of Chinsapo Community Hall|
|Zimbabwe||US$20000.00||Scaling up of the health initiative in Harare|
*Namibia did not have a proposal during the time of meeting
The following exchange programmes for the hub were planned for the year 2011.
|Visiting Countries||Destination Country|
|Malawi and South Africa
|Malawi and Zambia
|South Africa and Zambia
|South Africa and Namibia||Swaziland|
|Zimbabwe and Malawi||South Africa|
|Swaziland and Zambia||Zimbabwe|
Slum Dwellers International were the main participants in a Housing Forum in Livingstone Zambia that was organized in late November 2009 by the Zambia Homeless and Poor People’s Federation and the Zambian Government. The Forum coincided with the opening of houses that had been built by the Federation.
The official handover of houses to the Mwandi community was the result of an 8-year endeavor; the community had started a savings collective in 2001 and after many years had secured their own land on which to start building. The Zambia Homeless and Poor People’s Federation is a community-based organisation made up of urban poor and homeless families that have constituted themselves into housing savings schemes. The Zambian Federation was set up in 2001 with the support of Slum Dwellers International (SDI) and the Zimbabwean Alliance of Dialogue on Shelter and Zimbabwe Homeless People’s Federation. To date, the Zambian Federation has a membership of 32,000 in 17 local municipalities. Their objective is to work with poor, homeless urban communities and assist them in finding solutions to their homelessness and poverty, as well as other challenges such as health and the lack of access to water and sanitation.
The Livingstone savings groups that are affiliated to the Federation applied to the Livingstone City Council for land in 2006. The council eventually offered the community a plot of land for ZK 2.5 million (R40, 000) per person, however because of the savings collective, the community was able to negotiate it down to KZ 150,000 (R230) per person. Instances such as this demonstrate why the savings rituals are so crucial to creating strong communities. The savings process is designed to maximize the contact that people have with each other, enabling strong bonds to form around their shared identity as poor people. When people interact with each other every day - whether it be over savings and loans or the threat of eviction - their sense of being a community intensifies.
With this growing sense of community, the group in Mwandi also had to negotiate for water, but had the confidence to start building without a confirmed supply in September of 2007. They started buying water drums that held 250 litres of water for roughly KZ 13,500. Through the community’s continual lobbying, the council finally secured a deal with the Southern Water and Sewerage Company (SWASCO) to supply the community with water, who have put in larger pipes in anticipation of future settlement expansion.
The Housing Forum that was held on the 24th of November 2009 was focused on highlighting the critical link between the government and communities. Improving the living conditions of impoverished communities is difficult to accomplish without the involvement of the government. The savings groups fulfill the role of mobilizing the communities, which in tern pushes the government to meet them half way. It also means that the communities do not have to wait for the government to initiate the development. These thoughts were echoed by many of the speakers, especially the Minister for National Housing and Social Amenities of Zimbabwe, Fidelis Mhashu, who said that communities ‘cannot wait for the government, if there is an opportunity to organize– one must take it’. The Zambian District Commissioner stressed that the communities should not be in isolation, and that the forum served to ‘cement the relationship between the poor and the government.’
The day culminated with the signing of the Zambia-Livingstone Declaration, which stated:
As informal settlement dwellers, NGOs and governments, participating in this international workshop, we feel obliged to redouble our efforts to take joint responsibility for the restoration of the dignity of the poor and mobilize governments and organizations world over, to make the provision of access to shelter, potable water and sanitation an urgent and first priority.
The following day was the official handover, and the mood was jubilant. There were traditional dancers and constant cries of Halala Federation, Halala! In his address to the gathering Jockin, the President of SDI, implored the local government to supply the communities with an additional 1000 plots, stressing that ‘we don’t believe in hand outs – the communities are ready to build.’ Whilst there was no definitive answer on the additional thousand plots, what was clearly evident across the two days was the acceptance on both sides of the need to work together to fix the housing deficit in Zambia. All hopeful eyes are now on the Zambian coalition of the federation and government and will be watching closely for progress.
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