Malawi Housing Policy promotes resilient structures – Eunice Chipangula

The revised National Housing Policy (NHP) will promote quality of housing infrastructure by ensuring that houses constructed across the country are disaster-resilient.

Chipangula: Director of housing in Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development  addressing a news conference

This came to light on Wednesday in Lilongwe during a press briefing on the Revised National Housing Policy.

Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development Director of Housing, Eunice Chipangula told journalists during the press briefing that there are many sub standard houses in the country.

She said the majority of them are in rural areas which are not suitable for human habitation and highly prone to disasters.

The revised NHP comes at a time the country is experiencing natural disasters almost every year, which affects a number of households by rendering them destitute due to loss of property and houses collapsing.

The ministry, with support from World Bank, developed standards that would ensure that the infrastructure constructed is disaster-resilient.

Chipangula said it is for this reason that the policy captures all areas that would ensure that buildings are disaster-resilient.

Meanwhile, access to mortgage is far beyond the reach of most Malawians in rural areas and urban areas, a situation which leads to construction of sub standard houses among other factors.

According to the Principal Secretary, the ministry is working together with stakeholders to ensure all areas needing strong and resilient-to-disasters houses are made public and followed up.

“We are making sure that in this policy, we capture all the areas concerned where we are required to build houses which are disaster- resilient,” she said.

The ministry is disseminating the policy guidelines to local authorities which, in turn, will disseminate the same to the public as well as artisans on the need to ensure that the country has disaster-resilient houses.

Recognising the importance of housing and its contributions to national economic development as well as government commitment to international instruments that focus on promotion of sustainable human settlement development for all, Chipangula expressed the need to create an enabling environment for all players by addressing challenges that the sector is facing.

Recently, World Bank Country Manager, Greg Toulmin said his organisation wants to see Malawi recover from floods and become resilient to future disasters.

Government found it necessary to review and revise the September, 1999 National Housing Policy to respond to various challenges and constraints in the housing development and management in Malawi.

The revised NHP seeks to address gaps currently in the housing delivery sector influenced by rapid urbanisation and current status of some houses in both urban and rural areas.

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