By Solister Mogha
Zomba, Habitat for Humanity, a Christian non-profit organisation affiliated to Habitat International says it will this year construct 100 houses for families that were affected by Cyclone Idai in Zomba District.
Cyclone Idai hit the country in 2018.
Briefing the District Executive Committee (DEC) on Tuesday, Habitat for Humanity Project Coordinator for Zomba, Faith Munthali, said as a result of the cyclone, many families lost valuable property, including houses.
Munthali said looking at this dire need of shelter, the organisation decided to empower the disaster-affected communities in Zomba by providing them with decent houses.
“The vision of Habitat for Humanity is [to have] a Malawi where everyone has a decent place to live. We intend to improve housing conditions through housing construction services and build capacity to serve the most vulnerable- the disaster- affected and the urbanising world,” she said.
“Between now and early next year, we shall be reaching out to 100 families with decent homes,” added Munthali.
Apart from constructing houses, the organisation also intends to rehabilitate two essential community markets and two community water points.
Munthali said a similar project would be done in Phalombe where some families were also affected by the disaster.
“We will also train 520 local artisans on Safe Housing Construction Guidelines (SHCGs) using environmentally-friendly construction materials such as soil-stabilised bricks, cement stabilised blocks and green concrete blocks,” she said.
“Through the local artisans, the project will construct new permanent homes for the most vulnerable families to reduce shelter losses from floods and introduce new flood-resilient construction techniques in the communities,” Munthali added.
Zomba District Council Director of Planning and Development, Walter Chikuni thanked Habitat for Humanity for complementing government in its efforts to improve living standards of Malawians, especially the rural poor.
Chikuni said government alone cannot reach out to every affected household, describing construction of the houses, markets and water points as timely.
Registered in Malawi in 1986, Habitat for humanity has reached out to over 41,000 families with access to decent housing, water and sanitation.
With funding from United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) – China and UNDP – Japan, Habitat for Humanity, shall, by the end of this year, have constructed over 380 houses in Zomba and Phalombe districts.