By LINDA SOKO TEMBO
FIRST Lady Esther Lungu has proposed establishment of a desk at the Ministry of Lands to assist women acquire land and obtain title deeds without any delay.
Ms Lungu says many women are not aware of their rights to acquire 50 percent of land in Zambia, adding that they cannot manage to secure their title deeds due to bureaucracy in the documents’ issuance.
She said this yesterday in Lusaka’s Bauleni compound at an event “Women’s Build” where Habitat for Humanity and its partners Standard Chartered Bank, Lafarge Cement, and MMI Steel launched construction of two houses for two vulnerable families.
She said women in urban, peri-urban and rural Zambia must be empowered, sensitised and unified to overcome their historical challenges such as indecent housing and inaccessibility to land for economic benefits.
Ms Lungu said Government was aware that many families were in need of decent shelter, adding that President Lungu has echoed on many platforms that his régime was committed to ending housing poverty.
“I am delighted to grace this event which marks an annual target by the lead sponsor Standard Chartered Bank and its partners to support eight vulnerable families starting with the two we are building houses for in Bauleni compound today,” Ms. Lungu said.
She added: “This is an indication that life is not all about making profit but about touching lives especially the lives of those that can never pay you back.”
She applauded Government for embarking on the issuance of title deeds to people living in unplanned settlements.
At the same event, the Esther Lungu Foundation donated household property to help the two families start their new homes.
And Standard Chartered Bank chief executive officer Herman Kasekende said as a bank they believed in making a positive and lasting impact in the communities where they operated to make a real difference in people’ lives.
Mr Kasekende said as a bank they were delighted to support Habitat for Humanity in its mission to improve the living conditions of female-headed households that are in a crisis.
He said women’s plight deserved right levels of attention from everyone adding that decent shelter is a basic human right.
Meanwhile Habitat for Humanity chairperson Brighton Phiri said his organisation advocated for affordable and decent shelter because it believed in working with various stakeholders.
Mr Phiri thanked Standard Chartered Bank and other partners for their continued support to serving families in need of decent shelter.