KAMPALA – Housing Finance Bank, in collaboration with the Buganda Kingdom and Habitat for Humanity, presented a newly constructed eco-friendly house to Ms. Namusisi Tezirwayo Zefloza, a resilient 105-year-old resident of Buikwe district (Kyaggwe County), as part of the ‘Decent Living Campaign’ initiative. Launched in 2018, the initiative focuses on elevating the living standards of over 300 individuals in the Buganda Kingdom counties of Busiro, Kyadondo, Ssingo, Mawokota, and Kyaggwe.
The handover ceremony brought together distinguished representatives, including Buikwe South Member of Parliament, Hon. Lulume Bayiga; Head of Women Affairs at Kyaggwe County, Ms. Esther Nakafu (representing the Ssekiboobo of Kyaggwe County and the Buganda Kingdom); Director of Programs at Habitat for Humanity Uganda, Mr. Fred Mukholi; Housing Finance Bank Managing Director Mr. Michael K. Mugabi, and district leadership members.
Ms. Tezirwayo is among the over 900,000 Ugandans living in sub-standard housing units in need of replacement or upgrading within Uganda’s challenging housing sector that has a deficit of 2.4 million units coupled with an annual growth rate of 200,000 units. Before receiving her new house, Ms. Tezirwayo and her family had to leave her old house every time it rained in fear of the structure collapsing on them. One of the walls once fell and broke one of her daughter’s hands at one point in time. Today, she no longer has these worries as she has a comfortable house with access to clean water and energy. “I thank all the partners for this support and can only pray to God to bless them with more life,” Ms. Tezirwayo said.
This heartwarming story serves as a testament to the transformative power of the ‘Decent Living Campaign’, while underscoring how collaborative efforts, like those of Housing Finance Bank, the Buganda Kingdom, and Habitat for Humanity, can make a life-changing difference in the most vulnerable communities.
Mr. Michael Mugabi, Managing Director of Housing Finance Bank, emphasised the Bank’s motivations for working alongside Habitat for Humanity and the Buganda Kingdom, who share a deep understanding of community interests and a common goal of transforming the lives of Ugandans. He said, “As an indigenous bank, we cannot turn a blind eye to the needs of the communities we serve. That’s why, as part of our sustainability agenda, we aim to develop alongside our communities by promoting homeownership and financial independence. In addition to these collaborative efforts, we introduced an inclusive financial solution called the Incremental Housing Loan (Zimba Mpola Mpola), which has already transformed the affordable housing landscape. This solution enables most Ugandans falling within the low-middle income segment, with diverse income streams and minimal documentation consistency, to be entitled to a comfortable household with clean water and energy supply.”
Mr. Fred Mukholi, Director of Programs at Habitat for Humanity, extended his appreciation to Housing Finance Bank and the Buganda Kingdom for their invaluable participation in the ‘Decent Living Campaign’ initiative. He emphasised, “I am glad that as Habitat for Humanity Uganda, we are able to reach out to partners who share the same passion with us of making people live decently. We feel this strongly, the Buganda Kingdom feels this strongly, and I am very convinced that Housing Finance Bank feels this strongly. Much as the challenge is enormous, the determination to surmount it is very strong and together, we shall have a wall and a roof on those most vulnerable within our communities.”
The Buganda Kingdom, deeply rooted in Uganda’s culture and heritage, has been an invaluable partner throughout the initiative. Ms. Esther Nakafu, Head of Women Affairs at Kyeggwe County, said, “On behalf of the Buganda Kingdom and the Ssekiboobo of Kyaggwe County, I’m so grateful to Habitat for Humanity and Housing Finance Bank for the partnership made with the Buganda Kingdom which has now resulted into the construction of six houses within this county. As Buganda Kingdom, we are committed to the well-being of our people, and we shall continue supporting and helping the neediest of the needy through such initiatives. Today, it is Mama Zefloza tomorrow, it will be you!”
The ‘Decent Living Campaign’ initiative underscores the positive impact of collaboration in improving the lives of vulnerable communities in Uganda. Looking ahead, Housing Finance Bank remains steadfast in enhancing living conditions in communities across Uganda and realising its purpose of enabling sustainable home ownership and financial independence.