By Gloria Kembabazi
Evelyn Birabwa Nakyazze of Kasaala village near Kalagi trading centre in Mukono District was always worried about the well-being of her three biological children and the another two she caters for. The house in which they lived was about to fall on them. Nakyazze’s husband is feared to have drowned on Lake Victoria. His whereabouts are unknown for years. As a peasant farmer on rented land, efforts to provide decent housing for herself and the children seemed like a long dream.
“My nickname was the ‘woman who sleeps in a small mud and wattle house that is about to collapse on her,” Nakyazze recalls. “But here I am today living in a house I didn’t even imagine would one day be mine,” she adds, pointing at a brand new house she has just received from Habitat for Humanity Uganda during the handover ceremony. The house was built in partnership with Housing Finance Bank and Buganda Kingdom.
Owekitiibwa Mariam Mayanja Nkalubo, the Buganda Kingdom Lands, Agriculture, Environment, and Bulungibwansi Minister and Michael Mugabi, the CEO of Housing Finance Bank attended the ceremony.
Robert Otim, the National Director of Habitat for Humanity Uganda thanked the Kasala community for their support to Nakyazze and her children. “The community here built the toilet for Nakyazze and her children and have been supportive throughout the construction phases,” Otim said in a speech read for him by Brendah Luyiga, Habitat for Humanity Uganda’s communication and advocacy specialist. Nakyazze also got a 3,000-litre tank.
Otim thanked Housing Finance Bank and Buganda Kingdom for their contribution to the decent living campaign.
“The decent living campaign started from scratch but with support of the Kingdom of Buganda, and partners like Housing Finance Bank, Habitat for Humanity is marking greater strides together. To date Habitat for Humanity has raised over Shs300m giving about 15 families a decent place to call home,” he revealed.
This October, Habitat for Humanity will be marking 40 years of existence in Uganda. Since their inception in 1982, they have built, improved and rehabilitated over 40,000 houses -transforming lives of over 240,000 vulnerable families in Uganda and contributing to a 1.67% reduction to the housing deficit of 2.4 million units in the country.
“We request partners such as Housing Finance bank, with the Zimba Mpola housing product, to continue supporting us so that we can provide more decent houses to people who deserve them,” Otim added.
Owek Nkalubo thanked Habitat for Humanity Uganda for their dedication to uplifting people’s lives. “It is with partners like Habitat for Humanity that we can solve some of the housing challenges of our people. We are glad to be partnering with them to help our people live decently,” she said.
On his part, Michael Mugabi said that as the leading housing financing bank, they are dedicated to improving lives through decent housing. “We feel honored to support Habitat for Humanity to improve people’s lives,” he said. “I urge all corporate organisations to support Habitat for Humanity to build more houses as they celebrate their anniversary,” he added.