Habitat for Humanity Zambia (HFHZ) has signed an Memorandum of Understanding with Stanbic Bank Zambia Limited as a corporate sponsor in providing low cost housing to vulnerable families in Zambia.
The MoU will cover a period of five years-1st October, 2016 and shall continue until 30th September, 2021. The MoU will see two vulnerable families benefit with decent shelter and ventilated improved pit latrine toilet annually. In addition, the families will be facilitated to acquire titles to land in securing land tenure and empowered through trainings in HIV/AIDS prevention and OVC care, inheritance rights (succession planning) and home maintenance.
Currently, Zambia is facing a 1.3 million housing deficit which is projected to reach over 3.3 million by 2030. Statistics show that the country produces a dismal amount of 73,000 housing units annually with only 40% meeting the minimum health and sanitation requirements in accordance with the Zambian Public Health Act.
Whilst, 75% of households do not have an improved toilet facility that is not shared with other households. Households in urban areas have greater access to an improved source of drinking water than households in rural areas (90% versus 47%). The lack of or limited access to sanitation facilities combined with poor hygiene is linked to skin diseases, acute respiratory infections and diarrheal diseases
To reduce the housing deficit there is need to construct nearly 222,000 new housing units annually between 2016 and 2030 to alleviate this housing deficit. This implies, 149, 000 housing units have to be added to the current production levels of 73,000 units annually. Taking into account the 60% of the housing supply which is unsuitable for human habitation implies that the annual housing supply target should rise to 193,000 units.
The housing challenge is most pronounced among low income groups which constitute nearly 80% of the population.
Habitat for Humanity Zambia National Director remarked; “The President’s declaration in his inaugural speech to invest in housing development and other infrastructural development projects to support speedy delivery of development. As well, during the recent National Assembly speech we have seen governments action towards resolving the housing gap through the creation of a new Ministry of Housing and efforts to concluding on the housing and land policies.”
“This is why this commitment by Stanbic bank is a significant and humbling one. Habitat for Humanity Zambia plans to construct 250 houses under its Pamwesu OVC project which will benefit 640 OVCs and 50 water points in slum areas which will benefit at least 12,600 individuals by 2018. It is gratifying to see the Financial sector taking a leading role in fighting poverty housing.”
He added that “Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity Zambia has assisted more than 98,000 marginalized individuals on the Copper belt, Lusaka, Western, North Western and Central provinces whose lives are affected by povertyhousing, lack of land tenure and clean water and sanitation.
Whilst Stanbic Bank Chief Executive, Mr. Charles Mudiwa said “Stanbic Bank Zambia is constantly seeking opportunities to better the lives of the Zambian people. As we Bank we say Zambia is our home and we drive her growth. We believe that this partnership with Habitat for Humanity Zambia will drive Zambia’s growth by providing decent housing for those Zambian families out there who cannot afford to better their lives.
Mr. Mudiwa further added; “It can’t be overemphasized that decent housing plays a vital role in removing barriers to opportunity, success and health that might have been part of a family’s life for years, if not generations. Through financial support, volunteering, or adding a voice to support affordable housing, this partnership will help families achieve the strength; stability and selfreliance they need to build better lives for themselves. Through shelter, we empower.”