By Our Reporters
Lands, Housing and Urban Development Minister, Judith Nabakooba, has commissioned a-five year campaign dubbed Home Equals aimed at providing access to clean water , sanitation and land tenure security.
The project being undertaken by Habitat for Humanity Uganda (HFHU), a non-governmental organization, targets some 10,000 slum dwellers in Kisenyi, Kamwokya, Mutungo-Bbiina and Kumi district in Eastern Uganda.
Nabakooba pledged her ministry’s full support to HFHU during the course of the campaign. “Count on my ministry for the necessary support. Even if it means contacting the respective stakeholders, we will be ready to help you so that we work as a team in a more coordinated way,” she stated.
She emphasized government’s commitment to ensure proper sanitation in densely populated slum areas.
“It is in a home that we start to see the world and work to fulfill our dreams. As the government, we have put a lot of focus on a home as the best starting point for all our interventions.
In areas such as sanitation in Kampala, I have been reliably informed that Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), working together with National Water and Sewerage Corporation and other partners like Water for the People have commenced the construction of two public toilets per parish. This collaboration is good for the new Habitats campaign.” Ms. Nabakooba said.
“We can look at improving where someone is staying but also people need to improve their economic wellbeing. Government is implementing programmes that support households. As we are launching House Equals campaign let’s help these people benefit from Parish Development Model (PDM). It is good to improve the housing environment for the people but the slum dwellers also need social and economic development.” She added.
According to Mr. Robert Otim, the National Director Habitat for Humanity, after five years, the campaign will then spread to other parts of the country.
“We are going to start with these areas and later the campaign will be spread to all parts of the country,” he said.
He noted that there is a housing crisis in Uganda and youth are moving away from their home areas in search for job opportunities in the cities and urban centers . Some of these youth have left their homes which were built by Habitat for Humanity.
“We have agreed that the time is now to address the crisis that we are experiencing. We need collaboration with the private sector , civil society, the government and fight for one cause.”
Mr Otim said that today informal settlements are becoming the most urbanizing areas of our cities. The residents are playing an incredibly important role as they find employment and housing solutions for themselves.
The Home Equals Campaign seeks to advocate for increased collaboration with settlers of informal settlements, accessible quality services and improved land governance and leadership by local government land committees.
“Today in Uganda, there might be many people who do not have a place that they call home. Let’s make a home where everyone be dignified,” he added.
Ms. Yunia Yiga Musaazi, Executive Director, Uganda Water and Sanitation NGO Network (UWASNET) supported the initiative saying; “If you don’t have a place you call home, you cannot even fend for your family.
Our aim is to ensure that there is access to basic services such as water, sanitation, land rights. And if there are houses put up by the government, they are affordable for every one.”
In Africa, she noted that Habitat for Humanity operates in nine countries but the campaign is going to be implemented only in Uganda, Kenya, Zambia and Malawi.
A pilot study for this campaign undertaken within selected zones of Kampala Central. Kawempe and Nakawa divisions indicated that access to essential basic services such as clean water and safe sanitation facilities is a great challenge.
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