The Ministry of Lands, housing, and Urban Development in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity-Uganda will hold this year’s World Habitat Day this Thursday with an emphasis on creating decent and affordable housing for low-income earners.
Speaking at the Uganda Media Centre on October 2 about the celebrations which will also mark the 2nd Annual National Housing Symposium, lands minister Judith Nabakooba said the day will be a platform for all housing partners to reflect on the state of human settlements and the basic human right to adequate shelter.
“All stakeholders in the housing sector are reminded to pause, reflect, and review their performance in the past year, recommit themselves, and gather resources to improve the state of human settlement and housing conditions for next year,” she noted.
Themed “Resilient Urban Economies, cities as Drivers of growth and Economic Recovery’ this year’s World Habitat Day shows how the government and all stakeholders can position their economies to benefit residents.
Nabakooba explained that the celebrations which will be at Mestil Hotel in Kampala will convene national and international heads of key organizations, high ranking government officials, cultural leaders, property developers, real estate investors, regulators, academia, manufactures, financiers, contractors among others to address challenges and discuss practical solutions to affordable housing.
“It will be a venue for showcasing and discussing innovative solutions to accessible, inclusive, affordable and decent housing. A platform for addressing cross-cutting problems such as gender and youth engagement in the housing sector, and an environment for sharing best practices in delivering affordable housing to the majority of society,” she shared.
The day will also offer a platform for establishing partnerships between the government and the private sector as well as developing appropriate designs and technologies to address the housing shortage.
In his remarks, Mr Robert Otim, the Habitat for Humanity National director said house developers will be reflecting on the housing sector challenges mostly imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic that hit countries all over the world.
“The pandemic has tested the housing sector but it has also put to limelight that more than ever the urgency for us to focus for affordable housing is now,” he said, adding that globally by 2030, one out of every seven persons will be living in informal settlements.
Mr Otim added: “That is why we are dedicating this year’s National Housing Symposium to affordable housing in urban informal settlements as a driver for economic growth. We shall have up to 15 exhibitors demonstrate the various low cost housing technologies that can be adapted.”
At the briefing, Nabakooba also pointed out some of the new developments in her ministry.
She noted that the digitalization of land titles is ongoing and they have one year to enter all the old information into the system and this will enable the ministry to detect anomalies of double plotting and multiple titling.
“Once the information is put into the system, it will be very easy to know because we shall be getting notifications when a registrar is trying to effect a transaction. We are giving ourselves a year to ensure that all the old information is entered into the digital system,” she said.
The ministry has implemented a number of policies including but not limited to the National Housing Policy, Condominium Act, 2001 which allows people to own and acquire security tenure for their individual units in high-rise buildings, establishment of the National Urban Fora, Landlord and Tenants Act 2022, and Physical planning Act 2010 among others.