Bulawayo –Over the years, the City of Bulawayo has been regarded as the best run local authority because of its excellence in service delivery. One of the City’s primary concern has been to improve the livelihood of its residents by providing assistance where possible.
In its endeavour to help mobilise and capacitate urban communities to address poverty whilst using housing and land tenure issues as a critical entry point, Bulawayo City Council has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the alliance of Dialogue on Shelter and Bulawayo Chapter of the Zimbabwe Homeless People’s Federation focusing on community-led settlement upgrading.
The MOU, signed in 2015, was signed against the backdrop of the rising global challenges and in particular the need to build cities that are responsive to the priorities and plight of the urban poor.
The MOU focuses on; Undertaking joint community led citywide profiles, enumerations and GIS-based mapping of informal settlements in and around Bulawayo, Development of grassroots and city-level capacity to implement a comprehensive and sustainable community-driven tenure, security initiatives promoting alternative infrastructure and affordable housing among a plethora of other things.
Following the signing of the MOU, excellent strides have been made by the two parties in implementing the set activities.
Up to date, the city has managed to mobilise and organise communities around 67 women-led savings groups with a total membership of 1661, mobilise and capacitate youth from Bulawayo on Media Training (Videography) and GIS-Based Mapping, conducted settlement profiling and GIS-Mapping, built 285 individualised sanitation units (toilets) in Iminyela and Mabuthweni and secured 344 high density stands in Bulawayo with 191 built to date.
Other successes include the piloting and building 52 ecological sanitation toilets in Cowdray Park, implementing a green intervention (solar-lighting) reaching out to 256 households in Cowdray park, implementing a “Safe and Inclusive Cities” promoting safer cities through a range of interventions at the city level and in Pumula and Hyde Park, collaboration with National university of Science and Technology’s Faculty of Built Environment around housing and sanitation architectural designs for Iminyela and Mabuthweni.