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600,000 rooms must be provided annually to tackle housing deficit in Ghana


Compared with many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, Ghana’s urban population is very poorly housed. UN-Habitat report indicates that about 60 per cent of all urban households occupy single rooms. While a taxi-driver in Lilongwe, Malawi’s capital, routinely lives in two or three rooms, one in Accra is likely only to have one room.

The UN-Habitat report has suggested a total of 574,000 rooms must be provided every year, 1,840 per working day, about four every minute to tackle the nation’s housing deficit of 1.7 million.

This is a significant challenge and one unlikely to be met by formal sector contractors building two- to three-bedroom villas, even if many of the households could afford them.

Business through the current formal housing, land and finance institutions, will not meet the serious shortage of rooms and services in urban Ghana in the next decade.

The UN-Habitat say the way forward involves major changes in the way housing is provided; a paradigm shift from ensuring that a few very well-constructed and serviced dwellings are provided to ensuring that enough housing is built for everyone at a price that they can afford.

This certainly means shifting the emphasis from finding a future for current housing supply institutions to installing processes that ensure large quantities of housing at appropriate prices and sustainable densities, chiefly to the benefit of the majority of households who live in poverty.

Currently government figures show that 35 per cent of the households can only afford housing costing GHC12,000 or less (a single room) and 85 per cent of all households can afford less than GHC72,000.

Story: Samuel Mantey
Property Express
Email: Sammyoo3@yahoo.com

July 31, 2012 Posted by | SETTING THE NEWS AGENDA | Leave a comment

Can Zambia meet 2030 urban housing demand?


Zambia is a land-locked country with most of its 753,000 sq km land area between 1,000 and 1,400 metres above sea-level. Formerly Northern Rhodesia, Zambia gained its Independence from Great Britain in October, 1964.

The population of Zambia in 2010 was 13.05 million, up from 9.9 million in 2000, of which 5.07 million (39 per cent) live in urban areas. In 2010, the number of households in Zambia was 2.64 million of which 1.03 million were in urban areas.

Urban household numbers have increased in number by 643,207 since 2009 representing an average of 64,000 new urban households every year.
It is a reality that providing adequate housing to millions of low income households globally and particularly in urban centres is one of the greatest challenges facing society.

To address the challenges in the housing sector, the UN-Habitat welcomed
the initiative of the Government of Zambia to join other countries such as Uganda, Ghana, Tanzania, Malawi or Tunisia on the review of the housing sector using the UN Habitat’s housing profiling tool.

Launching the housing profile the Minister of Local Government and Housing Professor Nkandu Luo stated ‘The vision of the Government of the Republic of Zambia in the housing sector is, “to have planned settlements with adequate, affordable and quality housing by 2030”. The question is can they meet that target?

Challenges

Until recently, Zambia was classified as a “Highly-Indebted Country” with very high levels of poverty, low GDP per capita and declining conditions of urban living. Following debt relief, the foreign debt of ZMK29.82 trillion in 2004 was reduced to ZMK2.1 trillion in 2005. With a Gross National Income per capita of USD1,070,6 it is now classified as “Lower-Middle Income Country”

According to the Economic Commission for Africa, poverty is firmly embedded in Zambia though the poverty incidence was down from 78 per cent in 1996 to 67 per cent in 2003. Overall poverty includes those who can afford to meet basic nutritional needs but cannot afford their non-food needs.

In 2006, 34 per cent of the urban population and 64 per cent of all Zambia fell into this category. Extreme poverty is defined as those whose standard of living is insufficient to meet their basic nutritional requirements even if they devote their entire consumption budget to food.
These constitute 20 per cent of the urban population and 51 per cent of all Zambia.

Per capita annual incomes are below USD1,300, placing Zambia among the world’s poorest nations.
There is no compulsory education in Zambia although the first seven years of education are free. Infant mortality rate is 84 per thousand live births. UN Habitat report shows 62 per cent of urban households receiving ZMK800,000 (USD200)30 or less per month and a mean monthly urban income of ZMK950,000 (USD190) in 2006.

Wages are still low for most workers in Zambia.
The rent element seems inappropriate as it is unlikely that any household which is restricted to ZMK800,000 a month for food will live in a medium cost dwelling.
As identified, the inadequate availability of affordable and decent housing in Zambia is one of the major challenges that the Government is facing in its quest to provide municipal services to its entire people.

This is exacerbated by the fact that the actual shortfall remains unclear and government has to rely on very rough estimates in order to plan the necessary interventions.

Prospect

National Housing Profile can be the first step to inform and engage policy and decision-makers, and provide them with the evidence needed to design their choices and support critical decisions.

UN-Habitat Executive Director, Dr Joan Clos says developing a Housing Profile needs to be seen as the basis for a broad housing sector reform that aims to improve its overall performance.

Clearly, the performance of a nation’s housing sector, its impact on cities and towns, and the living conditions of poor households is a key concern not only of national public policy, but it is also central to the agenda and international mandate of UN-Habitat.

Any shortfall in the housing sector could trigger severe negative impacts on social welfare, the environment and on the general performance of the national economy.
On the other hand, good housing, especially when security of tenure is in place, can make a significant contribution to the way households respond to an illness, care-giving and death cycle. If the home is secure, it is an asset which can ensure greater economic independence.

By: Samuel Mantey
Property Express
Email: Sammyoo3@yahoo.com

July 27, 2012 Posted by | SETTING THE NEWS AGENDA | Leave a comment

The 7 sorrows


Jesus mentioned seven ways to guarantee God’s anger, when He told the religious leaders ‘what sorrow awaits you’. These seven statements were strong and unforgettable. They are still applicable anytime we become so involve in perfecting the practice of religion that we forget that God is also concerned with mercy real love and forgiveness.
The 7 sorrows
1. Not letting others enter the Kingdom of Heaven and NOT entering yourselves.
2. Converting people’s away from God to be like yourselves.
3. Blindly leading God’s people to follow man-made traditions instead of God’s word.
4. Involving yourself in every last detail and ignoring what is really important; justice, mercy and health.
5. Keeping up appearances while your private world is corrupt.
6. Acting spiritual to cover up sin.
7. Pretending to have learned from the past history, but your present behavior shows you have learned nothing.

By: Samuel Mantey
Email: Sammyoo3@yahoo.com
Twitter: Samuel Mantey

July 27, 2012 Posted by | SETTING THE NEWS AGENDA | Leave a comment

Why am still a virgin at 23


Life is full of surprises. In any case, I honestly as a friend of Jesus feel that by not having sex before married is the best choice to make. I missed out on some of the more unpleasant surprises in life.
At age 23, I have been teased and mocked at for choosing to stay with God rather the World. But I know the crown always fit the cross-one day will be our day as Christians to ‘show off’ in Heaven.
I don’t fault people who have casual sex but I pray that they see the light. But for me, not having sex till marriage is the best decision I ever made. It’s a choice I would highly recommend to others.
Till I say ‘ I Do’ to that special person, I have vow to my parents, God, myself and my future unknown wife that I will stay focus pursuing God and believing that all things will fall in place. But keeping sex for marriage is both more and less sacred. Virginity is not something to be worshiped. It’s not about cultural shame. It’s about the way God designed us and the really hard battle of following Him.
There are serious reasons to save sex for marriage. First, because as believers, we are to obey what God tells us to do. 1 Corinthians 6: 18-20 states, “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”
If we are in Christ, we have allowed Him to purchase us with the sacrifice of His blood. In exchange for eternal life, we are to trust that He knows what is best for us, and obey Him.
It is God’s will that we should be sanctified: that we should avoid sexual immorality; that each of us should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God.
The Lord says he will punish all those who commit such sins. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.” Allowing our body to control our actions is an act of defiance against God. Godly sex is giving. Using someone else to fulfill a desire of the flesh is selfish and abusive. Even if the partner is willing, you are still helping them to sin and negatively altering their relationship with God and others.
The purpose of marriage is to reflect the relationship between the church and Christ and to serve God as a strong, unified partnership. Sex, along with procreation, was designed by God to strengthen that partnership. Sex before marriage means creates bonds that tear apart people’s hearts instead of joining them together.

Love is worth waiting for. Sex is something worth guarding for our spiritual growth. So until I say ‘I Do’ ‘I Wont’ give in to S-E-X!

By: Samuel Mantey
Email: Sammyoo3@yahoo.com
Twitter: SamuelMantey

July 25, 2012 Posted by | SETTING THE NEWS AGENDA | Leave a comment

UN-Habitat announces Scroll of Honour call for applications



The United Nations Habitat has released the guidelines for submission of nominations for the 2012 ‘Scroll of Honour’.
The Habitat Scroll of Honour award was launched by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme in 1989. It is currently the most prestigious human settlements award in the world. Its aim is to acknowledge initiatives which have made outstanding contributions in various fields such as shelter provision, highlighting the plight of the homeless, leadership in post conflict reconstruction, and developing and improving the human settlements and the quality of urban life.
In previous years, we have received submissions describing an array of impressive initiatives to improve shelter and urban services.
Eligibility
Individuals, organizations, projects and any Habitat Agenda partner can be nominated for the Habitat Scroll of Honour. These include:
• Government and inter-governmental organizations or agencies, including bilateral aid agencies
• Cities, local authorities or their associations
• Civil society organizations
• The private sector
• National Habitat Committees or focal points
• Research and academic institutions
• Public or private foundations
• Multilateral agencies (United Nations Agencies, World Bank, etc.)
• The media
• Individuals

The deadline for submitting entries to the Habitat Scroll of Honour 2012 is 6 August 2012.
The award, a plaque engraved with the name of the winner and their achievement will be presented to the winners during e WUF6 closing ceremony on 6 September 2012.

The Selection process
The selection process will consist of three steps:
1. The World Habitat Day Coordinator will make an initial assessment of the nominations and submissions and verify that they conform to the standards outlined in the submission guidelines. Qualifying submissions will be sent to the jury.
2. A jury of experts on human settlements and urban development and the World Habitat Day theme for 2012, Changing Cities, Building Opportunities, will be constituted to select a maximum of five winning initiatives. The jury will make their recommendations to the UN-Habitat Executive Director outlining their reasons for the selection.
3. UN-Habitat’s Executive Director, based on the recommendations of the independent jury, will make the final selection of the UN-Habitat
Scroll of Honour winners.

Areas of achievement
In selecting the winners for the award, the jury will be looking for achievements in the key areas outlined in the table below. The achievements will be considered within the overall context of sustainable human settlements and urban development.
This year, the jury will give particular attention to achievements related to this year’s theme of Changing Cities, Building Opportunities, and especially
those pertaining to Urban Land and Legislation & Governance, Urban Planning & Design, Urban Economy, Urban Basic Services, Housing & Slum Upgrading, Risk Reduction & Rehabilitation, and Urban Research & Capacity Development.

To nominate an organization, individual or project for this year’s award you can do one of the following:
• Fill in the online nomination form on the website at http://www.unhabitat.org/whd
• Download the form on the website at http://www.unhabitat.org/whd and email it to whd@unhabitat.org, or
• Complete the nomination form on below, and send it to: World Habitat Day Coordinator, Advocacy, Outreach and Communications,
P.O Box 30030, Nairobi 00100, Kenya; Fax: +254 20 762 3477

By: Samuel Mantey
Property Express
Email: sammyoo3@yahoo.com

July 25, 2012 Posted by | SETTING THE NEWS AGENDA | Leave a comment