Initiative for Housing and Development in Africa
– the Next Step!..........
The IFHDA Context
In Africa, The system of land ownership
determines access to land and land security. The
Initiative for Housing & Development in Africa
(IFHDA) has facilitated an examination of the key
issues encompassing housing delivery and
ownership in the region which are laid out as
Sustainability, Poverty, Manufacturing Systems
Engineering for housing and the existing approach
to Housing in the West African sub region. From this
examination it can be deduced that the most apparently workable sustainable housing model for the region is The Agro Allied Farm Community.
STEP BY STEP.
This Initiative recognises poverty as a complex multidimensional problem, the resolution of which requires a specific anti-poverty strategy, itself a basic condition for ensuring sustainable development. It seeks to empower communities and local groups, and provide basic education and primary health care targeting the more than 1 billion people, or about one sixth of the world’s population, live under conditions of extreme poverty. Allowing the world's poor to create their own wealth is more sustainable than simply providing aid at times of crisis. (World Economic Survey, 2001)
Manufacturing Systems Engineering
for housing or house/building construction in the region, coupled with land reforms and innovation in land title regimes are the way forwards suggested by this research. As a recently recognised engineering function, manufacturing systems engineering (MSE) or prefabrication as an engineering system itself, emanates from the use of innovation or innovative approaches to manufacturing modernisation adopting a systems approach.
A Change is going to come!
If you build a single house for a man and his family, in most parts of West Africa, It does not necessarily help him. You are in fact doing him a questionable favour. In most parts of this region if you leave the man and his family on his own you have made him a ‘target’ for itinerant armed marauders who will, relieve the subject of his meagre valuables and probably ravish his wife! He will be lucky to escape with his life. [Depending on the mood of his assailants]
However vast swathes of West Africa are tightly held in the grip of near hunger, poverty and a lack of hope. Government efforts towards the eradication of disease and poverty have not begun to scratch the surface of the problems. They can therefore, in all reality, be ignored. Since sustainability is unlikely to be achieved from the top down, this research will enable the new approach of ‘from the bottom, upwards.’