By Farai Dauramanzi
The Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Dr Ignatius Chombo on Friday 20 February 2015 appointed a National Housing Delivery Program Advisory Committee (NHDPAC) that will advocate, coordinate and lobby for sustainable human settlements in the country.
In his address during the appointment of the NHDPAC in Harare, Dr Chombo said that the setting up of committee was a milestone in his ministry’s efforts to achieve the ZIMASSET national target of providing 313,368 housing units and serviced stands by December 2018.
NHDPAC constitutes of 15 members drawn from the banking sector, engineering sector, council, church, town planners, civic society and business community. Never Nyemudzo the Group CEO of CBZ holdings will chair the committee and will be deputised by Desmond Matete of IDBZ while Ambrose Matika from CABS will be the secretary.
Other committee members are as follows: B Muchemwa (Oxlink Capital), K Khanyile (Mtilikwe Capital), Eng B Rafemoyo (CIFOZ), P Toriro (Urban Planner), E Makumbe (Exodus and Company Private Limited), T.A Kagu (ZINAHCO), J Ncube (City of Harare), Father F Mukonori (Churches), M Chasi (EMA), C Chiwanza (AAG) and another member yet to be picked from the Zimbabwe Homeless People’s Federation.
“The Advisory Committee is mandated to advocate, coordinate and lobby for sustainable human settlements in Zimbabwe and advise, from time to time, on topical issues, strategies, appropriate building technology adaptable to climate change and other attendant issues incidental to human settlement goods and services provision,” said Dr Chombo.
The minister explained that the NHDPAC will also be expected to be a strategic player among stakeholders for efficient delivery of low to medium cost housing units in line with the ZIMASSET blue print and said that the terms of reference of the committee shall include being the umbrella committee for stakeholders in the human settlement goods sector whereby they lobby, advocate and coordinate human settlement issues.
“To be build consensus on key human settlement issues in Zimbabwe and to advise the Minister on topical policy issues, strategies, appropriate technology adaptable to climate change and other attendant issues incidental to the human settlement goods provision,” added Dr Chombo.
Members of the committee all pledged to work hard in providing affordable accommodation to address the the country’s housing backlog that currently stands at an estimated 1,25 million. The chairperson of the committee pledged to advocate for the release of funds for infrastructure development by financial institutions.
It is hoped that the NHDPAC will be able to address the issue of access to infrastructure such as running water and electricity due to the unplanned urban settlements that has mushroomed in most urban areas. The recently published FinScope Consumer Survey 2014 noted that the number of people with access to piped running water inside a dwelling or plot had decreased from 35% in 2011 to 29% in 2014 while those with access to electricity remained at 29%.