Habitat for Humanity Uganda on Friday 29th July 2022 handed over 60 new houses to partner families from Kumi and Mayuge districts at an event that took place at Alupat primary school in Mukongoro sub-county, Kumi district. The handover ceremony also doubled as the graduation ceremony for 48 youths under the Youth Economic Programme. In order to ensure the sustainability of these 60 new homes, Habitat also empowered at least one member from the partner families with vocational and economic skills. During the house handover, Habitat witnessed the graduation of these youths. All the 48 youth were equipped with different vocational skills and provided with start-up kits so they can earn a living and provide for their families.
The handover ceremony was graced by the Director of Housing who represented Hon. Judith Nabakooba, the Minister of Lands, Housing & Urban Development. In her speech read out by the housing director, Hon Nabakooba noted that this intervention comes at a time when the housing sector is recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Nabakooba, Uganda currently has a housing deficit of 2.4 million units, with a growing population rate of 3.4% and an urbanization rate of 5.6%. “Uganda’s population will hit the 50 million mark in a few years hence the urgent need for decent housing,” said Hon Nabakooba.
The handover of the 60 houses were part of the 40years anniversary celebration for Habitat for Humanity Uganda. The organisation is an affiliate of HFHI and has been providing affordable housing solutions in Uganda for over 40years.
Hon Opolot , the Member of Parliament acknowledged that Kumi had over 20,000 elders living in very poor conditions.
According to Hon. Apolot, she made a plea to Habitat when she was still the district chairperson to build houses for vulnerable communities in Garia and Kaderin parishes in Kumi which are prone to flooding.
“I also thank them for taking action when a case of corruption was reported, those implicated were removed and are no longer staff at Habitat for Humanity,” Hon Apolot said.
One of the partner families 80-year Ms Dunatasana Nanzala from Alukat village in Agana Parish thanked Habitat for building her a house.
“It was so hard to find grass to roof my hut but now all that burden is gone.” Ms Nanzala said.
Housing is a catalyst for development and about 2.4 million people in Uganda lack proper homes. According to Robert Otim, Habitat for Humanity Uganda National Director, 60% of children who didn’t stay in decent homes have a higher chance of not completing their education. Otim called upon the government to prioritize housing.
So far Habitat for Humanity has constructed 670 houses in Kumi district and more than 430 in Mayuge district. All these houses consist of a 3,000-litre rain harvesting water tank, a ventilated pit latrine and an improved bathroom.