70 percent of urban dwellers in Tanzania live in informal and unplanned settlements. Most of these settlements lack clean water, sanitation, health and education services. Restrictive land policies, lack of access to credit and weak economic growth all contribute to the poor shelter situation. And all too often, women are denied their rights to land and housing ownership.
WAT -- Human Settlements Trust promotes women’s equal access to land, property ownership and inheritance. Established in 1989, it has been working with housing cooperatives and housing groups in Dar es Salaam and Dodoma since the late 1990s. Now more than 1,400 families in the informal settlement of Hana Nasif in Dar es Salaam are securing land rights. Another 260 families have acquired new land and are building houses.
Working in partnership with Rooftops Canada and the Norwegian Federation of Housing Cooperative Associations (NBBL), WAT provides training and technical support in all aspects of housing development. With support from Rooftops Canada, WAT started a Shelter Loan Revolving Fund (SLRF) to provide housing loans. In 1998, WAT set up a Savings and Credit Cooperative Society (SACCOS) which has helped hundreds of households with small business and personal loans. WAT, Rooftops Canada and NBBL are working on a 2008-11 program to increase access to housing micro-finance.
WAT is also the secretariat of the Habitat Forum Tanzania (HAFOTA), a national coalition of over fifty members. HAFOTA promotes adequate and affordable shelter for low-income communities. In 2005, HAFOTA successfully lobbied the government to incorporate human settlements issues into Tanzania’s National Strategy for Growth and the Reduction of Poverty. This led to the creation of a new Housing Department within the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlements. The Ministry has included many of HAFOTA’s ideas in its new housing policy.
We also work in:
Africa Regional Activities