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News and Resources

WAT- HST helps Women Secure Homes: Semeni Likulo’s dream comes true!

News and Resources

Semeni, her husband and three children live in Hanna Nasif, a neighbourhood in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.


Semeni struggled to provide for her family. Her husband lost his ability to work in 1992, just three years after they had married. He had an ailment which caused his feet to swell so much that he could not even walk. Semeni cares for her husband, who became bed-ridden, while also working casual jobs, selling food and clothes to women on credit. This type of business is challenging as she must return to ask for payment from women who often delay on their repayment. Semeni, who like most of the urban poor in Tanzania, lives hand to mouth, would struggle to provide for her family when she wasn’t paid on time.


Semeni became involved with WAT-Human Settlements Trust in 2003 when they were doing housing projects in her area with Kinondoni municipality.


She has benefitted from various trainings offered by WAT including:  housing development and crosscutting Issues in housing; leadership skills; HIV and AIDS awareness, environmental and urban agriculture and so on.


Semeni became a natural leader in her group, encouraging the others to save money so that they would qualify for land and construction loans from WAT. She used to be very engaged in her community, participating regularly with a theater group that promoted family planning through drama. However, she had to quit acting so she could spend more time working, she realized that was the only way she’d be able to pay for rent, food, and her children’s school fees.  


Semeni training in time, allowed her to receive loans to buy land and construct a home. Based on her own work and savings, she was able to pull herself and her family out of the cycle of paying rent. With a safe and secure home for her family, Semeni can now confidently begin planning for her children’s post-secondary education.


Semeni’s Loans totalled approximately $4,100 CAD, about $820 for 813 square meters of land and $3,280 to build a home that has a common room and a bedroom.


“We opened an account with WAT and we began to encourage one another to quickly, little by little, make up and save the required deposit to get a loan. That is how we arrived at being able to build today. This is why having a house of my own is so important to me - having a good home, and not just a house to live in – that is everlasting,” quipped Semeni.


With support from Rooftops Canada, WAT is helping thousands families like Semeni’s move out of poverty and into their own homes