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Zimbabwe govtto roll out rural housing designs

by Staff reporter
12 Nov 2023 at 11:44hrs | Views
THE Government will soon roll out the rural housing architectural transformation in the country's eight rural provinces after securing 15 best designs from local tertiary institutions as it moves to standardise rural housing and ensure communities are cushioned against the climate change inspired weather vagaries.

The designs will be implemented with the assistance of the Government for those that cannot afford the building material. They will also be in conformity with the different socio-cultural settings, topology and climate adaptability in the different areas to ensure acceptability. 
Responding to questions from the Sunday News, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities Engineer Theodius Chinyanga said they were working to ensure that the rural areas were not left behind in the development of quality infrastructure particularly focusing on housing.
This, he said, was in line with the Integrated Rural Development Strategy where the mapping of the 35 000 villages in the country has been completed, setting in motion the speedy rolling out a nationwide borehole drilling programme to ensure that each of the 35 000 villages have access to clean, safe drinking water points which would be solar-powered and attached a community nutritional garden.
"The Ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities is mandated to provide modern, affordable, and sustainable human settlements (shelter), as a human basic right, as enshrined in the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment Number 20 of 2013, section 28. In partial fulfilment of the above, the ministry procured model rural homestead designs for the eight rural provinces of Zimbabwe by launching an architectural design competition for students in tertiary institutions," said Eng Chinyanga.
From the competition, he said the ministry considered 15 best architectural designs which were now ready for implementation.
"The ministry archived the best and sustainable 15 rural design models which are now ready for implementation throughout the eight provinces. The rural designs meet the key performances that are expected and they include cultural, sustainability, and buildability," he said.
He highlighted that part of their mandate as a ministry was to provide quality housing for the rural folk which was made more apparent by the need to circumvent climate change caused harm to the communities.
Eng Chinyanga said the Government was aware of the economic situation of some people within communities and would assist them to ensure no one was left behind.
"In support of the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) which seeks to contribute to the country's Vision 2030, whose mantra is ‘Towards a Prosperous and Empowered Upper-Middle Income Society by 2030, possibilities are there to subsidise communities so that everyone can meet the standards of rural designs. The ministry will encourage the community to utilise locally available materials, the community will use their expertise in craft work, and the designs will also allow the use of renewable energy sources," he added. 
He said the Government was impressed with the transformation of rural housing where a number of communities have taken it upon themselves to move away from the belief that a rural home was simply a retirement home to building breathtaking modern structures.
 "We are in support of the Zimbabwe National Human Settlements Policy (ZNHSP) which speaks to well-planned and well-governed Zimbabwean settlements, we are in support of developments being made in rural areas in terms of housing and the setting up of businesses as it promotes densification, whereby the building of mansions (bulk-up) and construction of flats at district and rural business centres, would save land for subsistence farming.
"The ministry is aiming to bridge the gap between urban and rural homes by modernising the rural areas, hence the designs will complement the efforts of rural communities as they provide guidance on resilient construction while also stimulating creativity and a wide range of new ideas to ensure modernity whilst preserving culture," added Eng Chinyanga.
He noted that the rural designs would provide waste management systems and the development of smart cities in areas such as Figtree, on the outskirts of Bulawayo that would add to the densification drive. Eng Chinyanga said constructing modern homes in rural areas would bring numerous benefits to both individuals and the overall development of rural communities. 
"The community should construct their modern homes with sustainability in mind where they can incorporate energy-efficient features such as solar panels, proper insulation, and water-saving fixtures. This helps to reduce environmental impact and lowers utility costs for homeowners," he said, adding that modern home construction provides an opportunity to improve rural infrastructure which attracts businesses, enhance connectivity, and improve the overall quality of life.
He said preservation of natural surroundings through incorporating green spaces and landscaping with native plants would create a unique natural ambience. Rural communities in many parts of the country have been on a modernisation drive with mansions, high-rise and other up market buildings and designs becoming a common feature in rural areas like Plumtree, Kezi, Mutoko, Maphisa, Tsholotsho and Gokwe, among other areas. 

Source - sundaymail
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