Habitat for Humanity Zambia
Habitat's work in Zambia
Zambia News and Stories
Miriam Dube is a widow who lost six of her seven children to HIV/AIDS. She is looking after her only remaining son as well as four grandchildren. She is part of the Habitat Zambia Orphans and Vulnerable Children program. To bury her children used up all of her savings, so now she collects and breaks rocks and sells them to Habitat Zambia for construction.
The housing need in Zambia
In the late 1960s, Zambia was the third largest copper producer in the world. Its natural resources made it potentially one of the richest countries in Africa. In the early 1980s, the world price of copper plummeted, plunging Zambia into debt. Despite recent economic progress, Zambia remains one of the least developed nations in the world. Unemployment and poverty are widespread and 82% live on less than $2 a day. Decent housing in urban areas remains unattainable and unaffordable for most people and slums abound.
Most struggle to afford the frequent necessary repairs to their mud, wattle and grass thatch roof homes. Cracked and broken walls invite rain and rodents into houses, which in turn pose serious health risks. Families are crowded into a single room, which usually also serve as a kitchen. Children are exposed daily to life-threatening environments.
Habitat for Humanity in Zambia
Habitat for Humanity Zambia opened its doors in 1984, when it started building houses for fishing families on Kabuyu Island. Since then HFH Zambia has expanded into six of the country’s nine provinces, and has also facilitated multiple development initiatives. Habitat for Humanity Zambia builds in both rural and peri-urban areas. The average house size is 35 sq. meters (approximately 300 sq. ft).
On Habitat’s conventional building program, HFH Zambia focuses on building the capacity of communities that have demonstrated a need to better their housing conditions. This model encompasses full new houses, renovations and rehabilitations. The homeowners contribute sweat equity and building materials in order to reduce the loan amount. Social cohesion is promoted through the affiliate program. Most of the program’s houses are built using burnt bricks and corrugated iron roofing sheets. The houses are simple but high quality, with separate sleeping, cooking and living areas. The design is such that homeowners have the option of extending the house in the future.
In addition to its conventional building program, under the Vulnerable Group Housing (VGH) program HFH Zambia provides appropriate, subsidized housing solutions to vulnerable groups in Zambia and it specifically concentrates on orphaned and vulnerable children (OVC) and their caregivers. Children in Zambia are one of the groups at greatest risk to contract HIV. Their vulnerability as children puts them at a greater risk of abuse, especially sexual abuse. Statistics show that more than 1 in every 7 adults is living with HIV, which has resulted in about 600,000 children being orphaned due to AIDS.
Download Building Connections (760kb .pdf) and learn how you can get involved with Habitat’s Global Village volunteer program to Zambia.
Capital : Lusaka
Population : 11,863,000
HIV prevalence rate : 5.2 percent
Number of AIDS orphans : 600,000
When the program started: 1984
Video : HFH Zambia on YouTube
Housing Solutions: New Houses, Renovations and repairs, Orphans and vulnerable children (OVC)