Govt fo­cuses on high-rise build­ings

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - NEWS - Lin­coln Towindo

GOV­ERN­MENT is now mov­ing to­wards con­struct­ing high-rise apart­ments as op­posed to ex­pend­ing more land on sin­gle storey houses fol­low­ing Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe’s call to stop the wan­ton dis­tri­bu­tion of land for hous­ing.

The Min­istry of Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment, Pub­lic Works and Na­tional Hous­ing has come un­der in­tense crit­i­cism for fo­cus­ing on stand al­lo­ca­tion at the ex­pense of sus­tain­able hous­ing pro­vi­sion mod­els.

As a re­sult, the Ur­ban De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (Ud­corp) has now in­ten­si­fied its thrust on de­vel­op­ing high-rise build­ing to ac­com­mo­date over 40 000 house­holds in Manyame. A lay­out plan for the de­vel­op­ment of flats in the area has since been sub­mit­ted to author­i­ties, with ap­proval of the blue­print ex­pected next month. Ini­tially, the lay­out plan for the area fo­cused on sin­gle storey houses, a de­vel­op­ment that would have wit­nessed only 10 000 hous­ing units be­ing built.

Fur­ther, Ud­corp has be­gun prepara­tory work for a mas­sive ur­ban re­gen­er­a­tion pro­gramme that will wit­ness old sin­gle storey houses in some sub­urbs be­ing de­mol­ished to make way for the de­vel­op­ment of flats.

Houses in some of Harare’s old sub­urbs are be­ing tar­geted for the ini­tial roll out of the pro­gramme. These plans fall un­der Ud­corp’s ur­ban den­si­fi­ca­tion project which seeks to in­crease the num­ber of peo­ple who can live in a given area.

Ud­corp town plan­ner Ms Con­stance Mu­choni told The Sun­day Mail last week that wa­ter sup­ply chal­lenges were de­lay­ing the plans for con­struc­tion of flats.

She said, “We are try­ing to come up with a work­able model that is re­spon­sive to the in­fra­struc­ture we have in place, es­pe­cially for wa­ter pro­vi­sion.

“Our fo­cus at the mo­ment is with the new towns that we are plan­ning where we are pri­ori­tis­ing a greater chunk of our ef­forts to flats and semi-de­tached houses that con­form to our den­si­fi­ca­tion pol­icy.

“The chal­lenge we have is with wa­ter sup­ply whereby the in­fra­struc­ture we have at the mo­ment can­not sup­ply high rise flats ow­ing to low pres­sure.

“We are how­ever car­ry­ing out fea­si­bil­ity stud­ies to as­cer­tain in which ar­eas we can build flats with the level of wa­ter sup­ply we have.

“We are also look­ing at other projects such the Kun­zvi dam which is ex­pected to vastly im­prove wa­ter sup­ply for small towns like Chi­tung­wiza. A dam of that na­ture al­lows for bet­ter wa­ter sup­ply to flats, giv­ing us the lee­way to de­velop go­ing up­wards. Our plan at the mo­ment is to build four storey flats, which do not re­quire el­e­va­tors be­cause from five floors go­ing up there will be need to build el­e­va­tors in those flats. “As part of the den­si­fi­ca­tion thrust we in­tend to largely fo­cus on flats for our new projects in Manyame and Chishawasha.

“We al­ready have a lay­out plan, that is largely for flats and semi-de­tached houses and it is await­ing ap­proval.

“We ex­pect the plan to be ap­proved by July.

“Our plan, es­pe­cially for Manyame, shows the ad­van­tages of build­ing go­ing up as com­pared to cur­rent thrust of go­ing side­ways.

“For Manyame we are now go­ing to be able to build around 40 000 houses in the form of flats whereas if we were to build go­ing side­ways we were only go­ing to have 1 000 houses.”

Ms Mu­choni said the ur­ban re­newal pro­gramme will wit­ness houses deemed un­fit for hu­man oc­cu­pa­tion be­ing de­mol­ished.

She added, “We are also ex­plor­ing ur­ban re­gen­er­a­tion, which is an area of de­vel­op­ment that has been largely over­looked.

“We in­tend to iden­tify ar­eas that were built long ago to the ex­tent that some of the houses in those ar­eas are no longer fit for hu­man oc­cu­pa­tion. We in­tend to de­mol­ish these houses and re­place them with flats to max­imise on the num­ber of houses that can be built per par­tic­u­lar area. Our first sur­vey will fo­cus on Harare, where we in­tend to iden­tify such ar­eas.

“But this is a project that is still at plan­ning stage and we will be work­ing with the lo­cal author­i­ties as well as our Min­istry.”

Speak­ing at the in­au­gu­ral Pres­i­den­tial Youth In­ter­face Meet­ing at Rud­haka Sta­dium in Maron­dera yes­ter­day, Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe said the wan­ton dis­tri­bu­tion of land to peo­ple by the Min­istry of Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment, Pub­lic Works and Na­tional Hous­ing should stop.

Land, he said, was a fi­nite re­source and fu­ture gen­er­a­tions would end up hav­ing none if the ap­proach was not al­tered.

“Land in ur­ban ar­eas is in­ad­e­quate for us to parcel out to you,” said Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe.

“We want to have a pro­gramme where we build apart­ments. Ndakanzwa mukuru wenyu achiti makate­merwa naVaKa­sukuwere (Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment, Pub­lic Works and Na­tional Hous­ing Min­is­ter) kuManyame uko uko.

“Ndi­nonyun­yuta nenyaya ya­cho nekuti tikaramba tichi­daro ha­pana kwati­nosvika. You are wed­ding and hav­ing chil­dren and your chil­dren will in turn have their own kids. If we give stands, it is all the land that will be go­ing and will the fu­ture gen­er­a­tion get the stands?”

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