15 February 2013

Tanzania: Urban Slums On NSSF 'Hit List'

Arusha — THE National Social Security Fund (NSSF) has reiterated its commitment to embark on an ambitious project to eliminate slums and unplanned settlements in all urban centres in the country.

The NSSF's Director of Projects and Investments, Mr Yakub Kidula, said here that the country ranks third in Africa for having many unplanned settlements in its major towns and cities. He added that the NSSF's scheme will soon embark on a massive project to demolish the slums replacing them with better housing units.

"About 75 per cent of all residential urban houses lie in unplanned settlements and areas not yet surveyed making our cities look dirty. "The situation also compromises sanitation and rescue services and making it difficult to contain criminality," said Mr Kidula during the NSSF's members forum.

He said the ambitious programme will start in Dar es Salaam covering Temeke, Kinondoni and Ilala districts where the scheme will build temporary houses or camps in which residents of unplanned areas will be shifted into while their homes are being upgraded.

"Once shifted into the makeshift structures the NSSF shall demolish their slum dwellings replacing them with better planned modern buildings that are again to be sold to the same people at cheapest price possible or on mortgage arrangement," he said. He added that once phase one is done, they will move to the other part of the city.

"Essentially what we are doing is to help Tanzanians build better houses in unplanned areas", said Mr Kidula admitting that despite being such a promising project, it may not exactly be smooth sailing. "We expect major challenges including hostile reaction from people as well as political interference. However once the first phase is done and its fruits and benefits seen, then they will change their minds and support the initiative," he noted.

Dar es Salaam, Arusha and Mwanza happen to be the country's urban areas that suffer sprawling slums that threaten to eat up the cities. The fund's other investment avenues in the offing include power transmission and generation, establishment of Inland Container Depot (ICD) and agro processing industries.

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