Zimbabwe -- Habitat for Humanity Int'l 1
The Housing Need
In recent years, the beautiful nation of Zimbabwe has spiraled into a state of crisis. The violent confiscation of white-owned commercial farms and involvement in the war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, combined with severe drought in parts of the country have caused rampant inflation and acute food and fuel shortages. In another controversial move in 2005, urban slums were demolished, leaving 700,000 people without jobs or homes.
Hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans, including much-needed professionals, have fled the chaos. Many who have stayed rely on food aid. The collapse of the agricultural economy has had far-reaching effects; inflation has soared to highs of 600%, the exchange rate has plummeted, and unemployment and poverty are endemic. Compounding its economic struggles, Zimbabwe has an extremely high rate of HIV/AIDS infection, at approximately 24% of the population.
Habitat for Humanity in Zimbabwe (HFHZ) – Closed Program
Established in 1996, Habitat for Humanity Zimbabwe worked with several communities to address their housing needs and a total of 901 houses were built in seven of Zimbabwe’s twelve provinces before the close of program in 2005, as a result of the political and economic turmoil. Habitat for Humanity has identified a local partner - Pundutso Microfinance Company, an agency of World Vision Zimbabwe, to take over the running of the program.
HFHZ houses replaced traditional rondavals (small huts made of mud walls and thatch roofs), which are not only difficult to maintain but also provide a breeding ground for rodents and insects. Rondavals also tend to have poor lighting and ventilation.
Measuring 6.6 x 5.8 meters overall, HFH Zimbabwe houses are constructed of baked brick, with a concrete floor and concrete tile roof. A separate kitchen and Ventilated Improved Pit (VIP) dry latrine is located behind each house.
Location: Southern Africa, between South Africa and Zambia.
Climate: Tropical, moderated by altitude
Population: 12.9 million
Economy: Main exports include tobacco, cotton, agricultural products, gold, and minerals
Government: Parliamentary democracy
Religions: Christian, indigenous religions, syncretism (part Christian, part indigenous)
Languages: English, Shona, Sindebele