AS Lands Minister Finalises Visits Zimbabwe…. 50,000 Low Cost Houses For Salone

 

By Ayodele Deen Cole

The Deputy Minister of Lands, Housing and the Environment Mr. Rex Bhonapha has disclosed that the current government of President Bio has solutions to the housing problems facing Sierra Leoneans.

He made the remarks at a farewell cocktail organised for him and members of his delegation in Zimbabwe where he went for a three-day visit.

According to Rex Bonapha, the mentality of Sierra leoneans to always look out for foreigners for assistance must end, noting that artificial barriers created by colonialism should not separate Africans. “We should pull our resources together and develop each other,” the Deputy Minister averred.

Mr. Rex Bonapha reportedly led a business delegation from Sierra Leone to Zimbabwe to finalise a housing deal with a local property developer, Enhanced Mortgaging and Housing Africa (EMHA). The visits was a follow-up to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between EMHA and Sierra Leone Housing Corporation (SALHOC) in February this year in Freetown. EMHA was represented by its Managing Director, Yussuf Dimoso and Chief Operations Officer, Felix Musewu whilst SALHOC was represented by its General Manager, Charles Albert Musa and his deputy, Emmanuel Tonny.

During the vssit, the delegation visited various housing projects being managed by the local firm in areas like Chitungwiza, Harare, Mutoko and Murehwa. The million Dollar deal will see the two parties working together under the Housing Development Partnership (HDP), to construct more than one hundred thousand housing units in both countries.

The Deputy Minister confessed that he was impressed by the progress made by Zimbabwe thus far in the efforts of economic turnaround. He further disclosed that the construction work under the agreement is now expected to kick-off with the initial phase targeting to produce a combined figure of at least 50 000 housing units over a five-year period. The contractor, he disclosed, is also supposed to develop schools, clinics, hospitals, police stations and road networks for the areas where the low cost housing would be constructed.

The list of home seekers continue to increase with each passing year owing to the costs involved in purchasing a piece of land and the actual construction work is beyond the earnings of  many. Experts say it costs between US$15 000 and US$45 000 to build a modest three-bedroom house.

The project, according to the Deputy Minister, is part of President Bio’s housing initiative aimed at providing houses for all Sierra Leoneans as the government targets low and medium income earners with a 70 to 30 percent distribution ratio respectively.