Lutwama Muhammed, How Can Microfinance Contribute to Restoring Dignity and Transforming Lives in Urban Slums?
How can micro-finance contribute to restoring dignity and transformation of lives in urban slums “sharing experiences from Uganda” By Mr. Lutwama Muhammed Operations Manager ACTogether, Uganda +256752666038/+256703634249 email@example.com skype: lutwama_muhammed Date: 16th /November /2011
Key facts about Uganda While Uganda still has a relatively low level of urbanization, it has a high rate of urban growth estimated at 5.1% per annum. Kampala the capital city is by far the dominant city with a population of 3 million, there has been a clear growth of secondary towns with 50% of the urban population now living in the 14 designated municipalities. 60% of these urban residents live in slums It is projected that by the year 2035 Uganda’s population will have grown to 68.4 million of which 30% will be in urban areas. the country’s economic growth patterns averaging 6.7% over the last decade supports the view that urbanization and agglomeration of people and higher order economic activity will occur.
The situation has led to settlements ofdespair;There is official recognition that living conditions inslum areas are poor and characterised by high levels ofhousing congestion, insecure land tenure, occupation ofunsafe swampy areas, regular flooding during rainyseason, poor drainage and sanitation conditions,inadequate garbage and refuse collection, very limitedroad accessibility, and inadequate access to health carefacilities.
Kalerwe slum in KampalaNeed for well-conceived and long term-planned slum upgrading initiatives
APPROACHES TO TRANSFORMING LIVES THATTRANSLATE INTO SECURE AND HABITABLE AREAS 1. Grassroots mobilisation & governance activities 2. Pro-poor research & advocacy 3. Secure land and access to housing by the urban poor 4. Urban poor community-managed funds 5. Community exchanges and networks: a formidable learning and mobilisation tool
GRASSROOTS MOBILISATION & GOVERNANCEACTIVITIESCommunity Savings & Credit SchemesThis encourages and strengthens the capacities of theurban poor communities to mobilize and organizethemselves into city federations.Most savings schemes naturally evolve intocommunity-based savings for shelter improvements, ashousing and security of tenure remain the main criticalissues faced by the slum dwellers.Progress: 362 savings schemes, 38000 familiesparticipating, covering six cities, over USD300,000 saved
PRO-POOR RESEARCH & ADVOCACYAdvocating for the rights and interests of the urbanpoor by building their capacity to collect and use criticalinformation, and their ability to engage in negotiationswith their local and national government for securetenure and improved living conditions for the slumdwellers.
Information is power! Count me in• The creation of space for the urban poor community groups to influence and participate in development processes is critical and the communities are engaged in;1. Community-Led Enumeration2. Settlement profiling3. Settlement Mapping4. Building partnerships with local and national government authorities Partnerships
PROMOTING SECURE LAND AND ACCESS TO HOUSINGBY THE URBAN POOR Security of tenure for the urban poor represents an important battlefield for slum dwellers. It is the guarantee against forced evictions its an essential safety net for urban poor families against when market forces gradually raise the cost of land and rented accommodationCommunities are involved in; Housing model exhibitions, Incremental slum upgrading initiatives, Affordability and House Design processes that guarantee ownership Community-driven Construction Process Demonstrating alternative solutions to low-cost housing and infrastructure development
Pilot projects are a means for the community to try-out and demonstrate innovative approaches to low-cost housing and slum upgrading that has potential to be more pro-poor, effective and sustainable•9 low cost housing units have been completed, 30 units under construction•7.6 acres of land were availed by the municipality to the slum dwellers in Jinja•503 families have acquired security of tenure in Kampala and Jinja
Key issues to consider in the bid for MFIs to promotesecure tenure and liveable environments• While the conventional delivery systems generally exclude the urban poor from existing land and financial markets, there has been much innovation in finance to support housing infrastructure and community development for urban poor groups over the last 15 years. They show how far external funding can go if it can support local processes driven by local organisations that make maximum use of such funding .• Banking institutions have failed to harness the social capital to address the structural challenges that are the real causes of poverty. Financial services that effectively reach low-income groups and help them leverage finances need to be developed with these groups as they are best able to assess their repayment capacities and develop effective systems. Financial institutions are generally reluctant to make substantial loans to the poor, or even to open a bank account for them.• MFIs should offer relatively low interest rates and improve on flexibility on the repayment term.• communities should be supported to develop systems that can channel funding to support local initiatives, while relinquishing more financial control and decision-making powers to local organisations formed by, and accountable to, the urban poor.
ACTogetherWho we areACTogether is the national support NGO charged with providingtechnical and financial assistance to the Ugandan Slum DwellersFederation.Uganda Slum dwellers Federation: The Federation is a member ofthe Shack/Slum Dwellers International (SDI) network and currentlyboasts approximately 38,000 members in six urban centres across thecountry. The Slum Dwellers Federation is a social movement of the urbanpoor, built on the that joint voice and action from grassroots level can playa significant role in driving change towards improved living and economicconditions for the slum dwellers of Uganda
Vision and MissionVisionInclusive cities where the urban poor utilizeopportunities to transform their communitiesMissionTo build the capacity of organized urban poor toimprove their livelihoods and increase their access toland, housing and basic services
Where we work 104 schemes 30 schem es 44 schemes 89 schemes 68schemes 27 schemes