Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Ugandans told to save for Houses!


Flavia Nassaka a reporter of the East African Business Week ran a captivating story that the Network is pleased to share with the rest of the world and it reads...
Kampala, Uganda-stakeholders in the human settlement sector have urged the public to participate in income generating activities so that they can accumulate savings that can aid them build a house.
"People should engage in activities that can enable them at least save Shs500 ($0.2) a day, through saving people can be able to build a reasonable three-bed room house", said Mr. Emmanuel Byaruhanga, the chairman Uganda Human Settlement network (UHSNET) during a settlements' exhibition  in Kampala recently.
Among the items show cased was a banner which the stake holders and the public have to sign and present to Parliament before Independence Day. Byaruhanga who advises the low income earners who can't raise resources to construct a house solely to build formal settlements through cooperatives, says a three-bedroom house is cost effective, gender friendly and also health sensitive if well planned.
UHSNET is a network comprised of civil society organizations, individuals, and private sector stakeholders working together with the main purpose of lobbying, advocating and sharing information for better policies, programs and practices towards sustainable improvement of human settlements. Atleast 60% of Ugandans in urban areas  live in slums with low  latrine coverage. The high level of  congestion creates pressure on land leading to degradation.
"The existence of poor households in Uganda's urban areas should be blamed on the government since there is no political will to support the housing sector. Only 0.3% of the budget was allocated to the land, housing and urban development ministry", said Mr. Charles Ofwono Chairman Foundation for Rural Housing, an organization that advocates for transforming rural settlements.
Ofwono says that in some parts of Eastern Uganda, grass species such as the spear grass are extinct because of the poor housing facilities since most homesteads use grass for roofing than iron sheets.
"Uganda's population has been growing at an annual rate of 3.2% to the current 30 million people while the urban areas have registered an annual rate of 5.1%. At this rate, Uganda will have a population of about 68 millions by 2035, 30% of which will be in the urban areas", said Samuel Babara, Commissioner Urban Development.
With such a population increase on the limited land of about 241038 sq km, Ugandans are urged to venture into building storied buildings such that the rest of the land is left free for practicing large scale agriculture since farming is the greatest foreign exchange earner for the economy.
You can also read this article on the officail website of the East African Business Week: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://www.newspapersites.net/newspaper/east-african-business-week.asp

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