Two years have gone by and the Harare Slum Upgrading Project starts enters into year three providing yet another opportunity for the Harare partners to make a difference in the 57 slums that were profiled. In year one, the exercise of profiling the slums in and around Harare began in ernest followed by a practical intervention through the Dzivarasekwa Extension housing and infrastructure upgrading pilot in the second year. This year, the Harare partners comprising City of Harare, Dialogue on Shelter and Zimbabwe Homeless People’s Federation will be consolidating work started in Dzivarasekwa Extension.
The 16 low-cost houses implemented highlighted the need to tighten the densification model in many areas to enable the concept to address the fundamental issues of affordability and design efficiency and then go to scale. Infrastructure was installed for only the 231 individual plots while the remaining 249 plot within the 5 clusters are still to be serviced.
Socio-economic issues will also take centre stage with a number of interventions earmarked to address livelihoods issues. As is the tradition with the alliance, an enumeration exercise was conducted as the first step before any intervention could start. Interestingly, the enumeration process is taking place exactly a year after the previous one carried out in the same settlement.
The enumeration covered household level survey and mapping of houses and water and sanitation facilities. The findings were therefore expected to inform the slum upgrading interventions through reconfiguring the activities in line with priorities. There are 480 plots in Dzivarasekwa Extension and a total of 501 households were enumerated with a total population of 2370. Average income per month reported by the respondents is $145.00 whilst for the entire household is pegged at $221.50/month. 67% of the households observed that they use the same borehole (Main Road) highlighting the serious water challenges. For example, each household with an average number of 5 people required 130 liters/day and this translated to three trips daily. Even though 33% of the respondents from detached housing noted that they now had reticulated water infrastructure, this was yet to be connected. A majority of the residents are yet to build their own ecosan toilets hence just 33% have sanitation facilities on their plots. Firewood and paraffin are the most dominant sources of energy with 61% of the households reporting that they use the latter. On average energy expenditure per month consumes 8% of household income while 30% is channeled towards food expenditure. For the first time, waste management were incorporated in the survey and a significant number of the respondents noted that they required training. 66% of the households, for instance, pointed out that they were using pits for dumping domestic waste yet this had the potential of contaminating underground water sources.
It is these findings from the enumeration exercise that will assist in developing strategies for the interventions in Dzivarasekwa Extension under the Harare Slum Upgrading Project. The ecosan project, for example, requires scaling up in order to expand the reach of the sanitation model. Moreover, the survey will also help to streamline the design and improve functionality. This will be important for policy-uploading and help to institutionalize the technology. To date, other councils have already expressed interest to adopt the ecosan technology and two exchanges with Shamva and Masvingo Municipality centred on the Dzivarasekwa Extension experiences. The need for housing upgrading is so apparent in Dzivarasekwa Extension with only 3% of the houses being permanent and approved structures. It is in view of this that there is need to create financial instruments to support housing development hence the plan to establish a Slum Upgrading Finance Facility. The latter is a joint facility that brings together City and Community funds and aims to create a sustainable and affordable fund for informal settlements upgrading. It is this information generated from the enumeration exercise that will help to guide slum improvement interventions in Dzivarasekwa Extension and ensure that the programmes respond to the aspirations of the community.