ALVIN CHIINGA, Lusaka
AN EIGHT-MEMBER delegation of technocrats from the National Housing Authority (NHA) and Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development is in Turkey to learn best practices in provision of affordable housing.
In a statement issued yesterday, first secretary for press at the Zambian embassy in Turkey Jerry Munthali said the delegation led by NHA acting chief executive officer Waicha Ndhlovu is in Turkey under the auspices of the Housing Development Administration of Turkey (TOKI), and the Turkish Co-operation and Co-ordination Agency (TIKA).
And Ms Ndhlovu said the objective of the visit to Turkey is for her organisation and the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development to understand how TOKI has successfully implemented its robust social and low-income housing model.
She said the delegation will also learn how TOKI has grown to be self-sustaining, without depending on funding from the Turkish government.
“What is exciting is that TOKI has informed us that they started with some funding in some form of a loan because there was a law put in place for some form of collection of a tax to build up this fund.
“But beyond this fund, TOKI has grown to be self-sustaining, to carry out all the construction projects on behalf of the government,” Ms Ndhlovu said.
Ms Ndhlovu said this information would be vital for NHA to learn how to set up a resource centre with the assistance of TOKI.
She also said NHA has learnt that TOKI undertakes 10 percent of all the construction in Turkey, and how it has grown its financial muscle.
Ms Ndhlovu said the delegation learnt that the housing model implemented by TOKI is the direct opposite to the one in Zambia because the organisation plans all the settlements before construction.
“This is even working out cheaper because they would have looked at the type and geology of the land, they also would have seen who it is that lives on the land.”
TOKI president’s counsellor Hilmi Tutar said TOKI has constructed 800,000 housing units over the last 14 years, with a yearly production capacity of 50,000 units.
He also said TOKI constructs infrastructure such as schools, hospitals and universities for the government of Turkey.