UN-Habitat’s Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme has implemented Community Managed Funds as a community development tool for informal settlements in Mzuzu, Malawi.

UN-Habitat’s Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme has implemented Community Managed Funds as a community development tool for informal settlements in Mzuzu, Malawi.

The Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme (PSUP) has reached out to 35 ACP countries and 160 cities, and has provided the necessary enabling framework for improving the lives of at least 2 million slum dwellers. The programme acknowledges that the participation of local communities in the development and implementation of local projects is essential for sustainable city-wide slum upgrading.
PSUP therefore introduced the Community Managed Funds (CMF) Tool whereby 10% of the overall funds are given to the community to stimulate local community-led projects. Currently the CMF tool is being implemented in PSUP Phase 3 countries and targets not only projects related to the 5 slum deprivations but also seeks improvement in livelihoods and stimulates local economic development.

Country Highlight: Salisburylines Malawi

Under the MoU signed by the Government of Malawi and UN-Habitat, a framework for corporation was outlined for the implementation of Phase 3 in the city of Mzuzu. Part of the implementation was the launching of the CMF tool in the informal settlement of Salisburylines. 

Situational Analysis

The informal settlement of Salisburylines is in the City of Mzuzu, and was established on public land owned by the Mzuzu City Council (MCC) in 1955. The settlement covers an area of 62 hectares, yet has a population of 6,362. The area is prone to flash floods and water logging, and therefore has a high water table which brings about the challenge of hygiene and sanitation. 84% of residents in Salisburylines lack access to improved sanitation, and according to the Malawi Demographic and Health Survey 2010 the contamination of water through the use of pit latrines have increased levels of diarrhea amongst children. Other identified deprivations in the community are:
  • Lack of improved water sources, as the communal water points need rehabilitation.
  • Lack of solid waste management, as this is done on an individual basis however the community practices bad solid waste disposal habits.
  • Poor road infrastructure since flooding and water logging makes mobility a challenge, and there are no drains or culverts along the roads to allow for proper drainage.
In response to the deprivations, the people of Salisburylines decided to form a Community Committee that would be responsible for their CMF. The community published guidelines and procedures, which outlined the structures for the management of CMF as well as accountability checks and balances. Through the CMF guidelines, the communities of Salisburylines have managed to utilize 10% of their project budget on:
  • Improved mobility in the community through the creation of gravel roads.
  • Increased disaster risk resilience due to improvements made to the drainage system.
  • Improved sanitation through the construction of eco-san toilets.
  • Improved solid waste management through the construction of a compost center.
  • Increased employment opportunities for young people through the implementation of CMF projects.CMF Examples in Salisburylines

Micro-Loans for Sanitation Improvement 

A micro-loan revolving scheme was implemented in the community to enable residents to make improvements to sanitation. Households that previously could not afford upgrades in sanitation can now do so by accessing a micro-loan.

An example of the eco san toilets constructed through CMF. @MyPSUP

Construction of a Community Centre
Land was provided by the Mzuzu City Council for the construction of a community hall which was completed in February 2016. The Hall is being used for community meetings. Additional space was left next to the hall for the construction of a composting center.

Construction of the Salisburylines Community Hall. @MyPSUP

Training Of Compost Manure Producers + Composting Centre Construction
To tackle the lack of solid and liquid waste management in Salisburylines, three community meetings were held, where the problems related to waste management and their possible solutions were discussed. After the meetings, 3 waste groups were formed, and underwent training facilitated by the Agricultural Development Division (ADD) on the compost production process  

   Residents sorting out compost. @MyPSUP

A composting center was then built, which created jobs for five bricklayers from the community. The center is now being used by the three waste groups.

Marketing Training for Waste Entrepreneurs

Marketing training for 17 compost producers took place in Salisburylines. Topics covered during the training included how to market their products, the identification of materials for composting, sorting and categorization of waste, and composting itself. The training also included sessions on financial management, marketing and group dynamics. 

Expansion of CMF

The above mentioned projects highlight successful and on-going cases whereby informal communities have directly been involved and simultaneously benefited from locally initiated development projects. Currently there are plans to expand the PSUP method to more informal settlements in the current and upcoming PSUP Phase 3 countries.

Article: PSUP 
Photo Credits: MyPSUP