Uganda -- Habitat for Humanity Int'l 1
The Housing Need
The % of households residing in grass thatched structures rose from 35% to 38%.
Through BIS, HFHU seeks to maintain its focus to partner with low-income families.
Betty & the Children.
Results from the Uganda National Bureau of Statistics (UNBS) Household Survey 2005/6 revealed a growing need for housing among Uganda’s population. In the report, a large number of households (78%) lived in their owner-occupied dwellings while 16% rented. A remaining percentage (6%) reflected dwellings supplied for free.
More than one half of all households had one room used for sleeping. Regional variations showed that about 8 out of every 10 households in the Northern region and close to three quarters of households in Kampala had one room used for sleeping purposes. The Northern and Eastern regions had the highest average number of people (four) per sleeping room while other regions had about three people.
The survey results also showed that there was a “slight decrease in the proportion of households that reside in dwellings roofed with iron sheets from 63 percent (2002/03) to 61 percent in 2005/06. The percentage of households residing in grass thatched structures increased from 35 to 38 percent.”
Habitat for Humanity Uganda (HFHU)
For 25 years, Habitat for Humanity Uganda has partnered with low-income families to build simple, decent and affordable homes in Uganda. The homes are built complete with Ventilated Improved Pit latrines (VIPs) and adjacent bath (shower) stalls.
Active home building is currently concentrated in the districts of Masindi and Katikamu, all in the North Western part of the country with housing interventions combining Home Improved Loans (HIL’s) and Building In Stages (BIS). The third housing intervention targets families caring for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVCs).
HFHU’s presence in Uganda is in 19 districts where, to-date, over 4, 500 homes have built and over 27, 000 lives transformed.
Home Improvement Loans (HIL)
Most homes in Uganda are built using fired mud bricks and sand which are locally available and easy to make or find. Because home construction begins with these materials, most people have easily started the process of home construction only to fall short of owning their home half way along the process. Often the reason was because they couldn’t afford the expensive cost of cement, iron sheets and other manufactured building materials required to complete construction. Through the HIL and using a micro-finance model, HFHU is seeking to reach out to many families caught in this situation with HILs at whatever level of home construction they had reached; shuttering, roofing, flooring or plastering.
Building in stages (BIS)
Due to countrywide rise in the cost of building materials, the cost of homes is continually rising. Through BIS, HFHU seeks to maintain its focus to partner with low-income families with no easy access to bank credit for home construction, by building with them in stages. HFHU now builds two roomed homes with the families complete with VIP latrines and adjacent shower stalls. After the families have paid off their home loans, they can apply for additions to their existing homes.
Orphans and vulnerable children (OVC):
HFHU has worked with OVC and their caregivers in all its affiliates throughout the 19 districts. Kakooge affiliate, Nakasongola District (Formerly under Luwero District) has been the epicenter of HFHU’s OVC program where 59 homes have to-date been built specifically for this disadvantaged group. Apart from home construction, HFHU’s OVC intervention includes training on HIV/AIDS awareness, succession planning, and life skills among others.
Real Life Story:
Betty Naluwu was once a married woman but not anymore. She has had to bring up her two children single handedly because her husband abandoned the family while the children were still young. Betty is a business woman.
“I sell pineapples and yams in wobulenzi market –it’s hard work because I sell in the open where I’m exposed to the sun all day. When it is not shining, then it is raining and when it does, I take shelter somewhere but sometimes, I just have to let go and go home” says Betty of her source of income.
Betty was renting a single room which accommodated her children and herself. It also served as a kitchen, sitting room and sometimes as a bathroom. “There were ten families altogether in the place. We had no bathroom and the toilets were very dirty. One either took a bath at night but most times I would bathe from inside my room; I would squat inside a basin and use a small jeri can to pour water on myself. I would then mop the place and pull back the chairs,” narrates Betty of her former housing situation.
Betty learned about Habitat for Humanity from Mr. Lugolodi, a friend who himself has a Habitat home. “We pray in the same church” says Betty of her friend. “May God bless Habitat and everyone He has used to help us! I now have a big house and lots of freedom with my own toilet and bathroom. When I pray, I know it’s for my own home!”
Location: Eastern Africa, west of Kenya
Population: 27.6 million
Economy: Main exports are coffee, fish products, tea, tobacco, cotton, corn, beans
Religions: Christianity, Islam
Languages: English (official), Swahili, Ganda, various Bantu languages