Last friday was rich of lesson by visiting two informal settlements in the southwestern edge of Lilongwe. Several aspects of the challenges the project is facing were pointed out.
After talking with chiefs and project’s participants, it was found that registration processes might bring some new challenges. As lots of people live in informal settlements without paying city rates, registration with the city council is difficult, as these city rates have to be paid from the beginning.
Indeed, as many women have been living in their houses for several decades, they cannot afford the regularisation fees. Another solution is to register with the local chief who remains the main authority in these informal settlements. However this is raising serious challenges with regard to urban governance. We decided then with LUPPEN to carry out a study to know exactly the city rates per month in each area.
In Chinsapo, we also witnessed the soaring uncontrolled urbanization of Lilongwe. More than 100,000 people live there often in overcrowded and flimsy dwellings. According to LUPPEN’s member and local inhabitant, Mr. Chitani, three new settlements will worryingly emerge within Chinsapo by 2015. People come to the town desperately in search of work even if it is often vain hope…
However, the situation is not as gloomy as it seems as some women still managed to pay regularisation fees but these challenges undeniably show even more the importance of MUD Africa’s work! / Pierre.