Deputy Minister of Lands Abida Mia has disclosed that the government of Malawi through the Ministry of Lands will embark on a slum-upgrading project to provide decent and low cost houses for urban dwellers.
Speaking on 30 October 2020 during commemoration of World Habitat day and World Cities day, Mia said that Slum Upgrading Project is a program which the Ministry is working on and will include high rise buildings and people will be able to buy flats on sectional title.
“I can assure you that through this project we will build houses so that people can afford to buy the houses on a loan facility and these people include government employees and people that work in other companies all of them will be able to afford to buy these houses. As you know we have a huge shortage as approximately 21 thousand houses are needed per annum to the people in the city so once we embark on this project we will make sure that we can accommodate many people at least in medium and low income,” said Mia.
She also added that the Ministry is working on improving the Cement and Malata Subsidy program so that it can benefit both rural and urban communities and make a positive impact in the housing sector.
She then called upon donor community, the private sector, local and foreign investors to work with the government in improving access to affordable and decent housing for people of all income levels through the slum up-grading project and the low cost housing project.
“The government of Malawi through our ministry is set to offer citizens decent, housing and we have plans to start constructing low cost houses for needy people. Some of the houses in rural areas will be about 7.5 million, they will have a toilet inside, a boundary fence, everything inside for security reasons. But obviously right now many people have sub-standard houses but once we embark on this project we will ensure the housing is improved and the number of beneficiaries would rise in the subsequent years as government will be increasing funding to the project,” said Mia.
On the World Habitat day and World Cities day in Malawi, Mia said the commemoration is very important because many issues concerning housing that will change the country.
“It’s actually very exciting for us simply because we are looking at many issues, we are looking at a new project whereby we will be going into every constituency and building houses for vulnerable as well that will be the elderly, children and people with albinism. So it’s very exciting knowing we have huge plans for the future and the government is working tirelessly to ensure that the cities are looking beautiful and people have safe and affordable houses,” she said.
On her part Mayor of Lilongwe City Her Worship Cllr Julian Kaduya said that as Lilongwe City Council they will make sure that the city has decent houses.
“We will make sure that every person who is developing, we should first approve the plans before they start building their structures and we understand that the government will build houses for vulnerable people but these houses will be planned and we will make sure that when we are building these structures the sewer system should be okay, we should have good drainage system because if the drainage system is not okay when the rains come the water will just be anywhere and destroying the structures and the buildings,” said Kaduya.
This year’s World Habitat Day was commemorated under the theme “Housing for All: A better Urban Future”.
United Nations member states also commemorated The World Cities Day on 31st October under the theme: Valuing Our Communities and Cities. This day creates awareness on global urbanization, partnership and opportunities which will see countries attain sustainable urban development.