Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Homeless Malawians remembered

As the problem of urban slums continues to glow in the country, at least 780 families from Zomba Blantyre and Mzuzu and Lilongwe are expected to have decent housing following multi- million Kwacha housing projects that the Centre for Community Organisation and Development (CCODE) is implementing in the districts.

The project which provides soft housing loans to the urban poor living under slum conditions started in as a pilot phase in the four districts in 2005,and meanwhile there are ambitious plans to roll the project to all parts of the country.

Mnolo Tabi programme manager at the Centre for Community Organisation and Development (CCODE) said currently 780 houses have already been built in the four pilot phase district with financial assistance from Water for People and America Global water challenge.

She said the beneficiaries most of them members of Homeless Federation get K165,000.00 house loans which they have to pay back within 8 years year period.

“We give the beneficiaries K140, 000.00 that has to be paid in eight years to build a modern house and an extra K25, 000 for a toilet that has to be paid in two years, these people are required to pay a K20 as membership fee every month on top of their loan payments,” she said.

Apart from disbursing soft house loans CODE is in corroboration with government, also doing a water sanitation project. The organization has also been pro active in HIV and AIDS sensitization programmes.

However the organinisation says despite its efforts it is facing challenges following absconding of loan payments by some beneficiaries that feel the houses were donations to the poor needy.

“When these people fail to pay we get back the house and reallocate it to another member that is willing to pay the loan,” said Tabi.

However while some people chose to abscond payment, some of the beneficially feel the loans have improved their livelihoods.

Grady’s Sande of one of the beneficiaries, from Chemusa Blantyre said the house loan she got from CICOD has improved her welfare.

“Apart from living in a good house I can also benefit from the manure that I collect from the modern toilets, I am also living in good sanitation as these toilets do not emit foul smell as opposed to the local toilets,” She said.

Sande said apart from being hygienic, the modern toilets were also long lived which meant she had cuts on her expenses for toilet construction.

“The modern toilets, bathrooms and houses live longer compared to ordinary ones,” she said adding “I had problems during rainy season because I was building toilet and bathroom every year”.

Centre for Community Organisation and Development (CCODE) was established in the year 2003 to improve sanitation and hygiene and help the homeless in the country by providing soft loans to build modern houses, toilets and bathrooms.

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