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Home  > Catalog  > Uganda  > Providing land and housing to 100 women in Uganda

Providing land and housing to 100 women in Uganda  
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  Report 4 - Narrative Report 1/31/2011
Report 3 - Narrative Report October 2010
Report 2 - Narrative Report, July 2010
Report 1 - A-Z Narrative progress report till September, 2007
Report #1 - 01-31-2011
Narrative Report 1/31/2011
By Lydia Bakaki, Founder and Interim Chairperson - Lydia Bakaki, Founder and Interim Chairperson
<p><strong>Asante na Zawadi Narrative Report January 2011</strong></p>
<p>Last time we reported that we had successfully completed the purchase of one acre of land and tree seedlings. We are currently putting up a house. We had expected to put up two bed room houses but we are putting up one due to unexpected purchase costs. Our plan is to settle about 4 women on the new piece of land as we try to send off trespassers from our larger piece of land. Below is the house we are constructing. We are yet to put windows and build a shelter on the bathroom.&nbsp;We shall update on how the women are settling in as soon as that happens.</p>
<p>Price increase of construction materials and the proliferation of trespassers on the land have been our major problems this season. Price increase has made it very difficult to stick to one Budget. We have as a result constructed separate units instead of one women&rsquo;s learning center with five units. By so doing, we hope to get women onto the land as we go along instead of waiting around for the money to be released.</p>
<p>The problem of trespassers is very big. It stopped the women from settling on the larger piece of land. The trespassers-without any color of right started using our land, hence the purchase of a new piece. We have held a few meetings with the squatters and their political leaders. Their argument is that they want to use free land that no one using. We have also not established our boundaries clearly. Others of them are hoping that the president will hear of the issue and ask us not to evict them. This has become a security problem. We have handed the matter over to a lawyer for proper eviction.</p>
<p><strong>Next plan</strong></p>
<p>Our next plan is to:</p>
<li>Settle one woman at a time on the new land</li>
<li>Start activities with some women now that we have a place to set the sewing and brick making machine(s).</li>
<li>Secure the old piece of land</li>
<p><strong>Please find attached pictures from&nbsp;the construction</strong>&nbsp;</p>
<p>Thank you,</p>
<p>Lydia Bakaki</p>
<p>Founder and Interim Chairperson</p>
Report #2 - 11-12-2010
Narrative Report October 2010
By Lydia Bakaki - Founder and Interim Chair
<p><strong>Report October 2010</strong></p>
<p>The only activity that has been successfully completed in the last three months is the purchase of one acre of land and tree seedlings to urgently settle about 4 women on the land.</p>
<p>As soon as we encountered the problem on our major piece of land, we started scouting around for possible pieces of land to settle the first 5 or so women onto the land. We got five pieces of land but only one was viable. We performed a search on the land in the land registry and found the land authentic. When we visited the land, there were squatters growing crops and the land had no access.</p>
<p>When we brought the issue of the squatters and the access road to the land lord, he said he would be responsible to take the squatters off the land but requested that we pay for the access road. We agreed to his suggestions. When we got to pay for the land, the landlord expressed a change of mind regarding payment for the settling of the squatters. He said he wanted us to pay for both settling squatters and the access road. We got a lawyer to conclude the negotiations.</p>
<p>On Tuesday 9 November 2010&nbsp;the landlord and ourselves had a meeting with the lawyer and agreed that we shall pay for the access road on condition that the access road will be on our title as part of our land. The land lord agreed to the condition of the access road and to the condition that he would deal with getting the Local Council Chairperson to sign agreements with the squatters but insisted that we pay for the compensation of the squatters.</p>
<p>At the time of the report, the agreement with the land lord had been signed and a deposit of 1,000 $ paid to the landlord to enable the landlord compensate and take the squatters off the land. In seven days we expect to have a final meeting to pay the balance of the money. The landlord will at the same event hand us the agreements between him and the squatters, showing that he compensated the squatters.</p>
<p>We shall update on the construction and how the women are settling in, in the next 2 months. The revised work plan is attached.</p>
<p><strong>Work Plan</strong></p>
<p>November 2010: Boundaries finalised</p>
<p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Plots allocated to 5 women</p>
<p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Trees planted and</p>
<p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Land enclosed</p>
<p>December 2010: Construction of common house</p>
<p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Toilets/Bathrooms completed.</p>
<p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Also training more women in brick laying</p>
<p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Train women in construction</p>
<p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Train women in organic farming</p>
Report #3 - 07-26-2010
Narrative Report, July 2010
By Lydia Bakaki - Interim Chairperson
<p>During this year we were able to contract a surveyor, contractor and tree planter. We purchased trees to plant on our land and we held envisioning meetings with women beneficiaries. Below is a detailed report.
   We have been able to contract a surveyor, a constructor and tree planter. The surveyor has made profound discoveries about the land we acquired. The land we had surveyed is across from the initially surveyed land. The new land is better for brick making and habitation as opposed to the older piece of land that was mostly swampy. The new land, coincidentally, is where we put the foundation for the common house. </p>
<p>   Although we had also started planting trees in preparation for the settling of the women on the land, we postponed the tree planting activity. When we visited the land after planting some trees, we found that some of the trees were found uprooted. The rest of the trees were returned pending the fostering of better understanding from the community.</p>
<p>   The envisioning meetings with women beneficiaries were a success. The women were taken through a process to identify their goals. A governance body was also formed. As a result of the meeting, a women’s board was organized. The women are already working with the implementation team to make bricks and start construction.</p>
<p>   Some of the challenges we continue to face is that the rate of release of money is far too slow in relationship to the rate at which women are forced to change address and hostility in the neighborhood. We hope that once we begin to get the women settled, the phenomenon will be overtaken by circumstances. We are continuing to deal with the hostility in the neighborhood by organizing discussion meetings in the neighborhood.</p>
<p>   Our current plan is to start making bricks immediately with plans to start construction and settle at least five women by the end of the year. This will require speedy release of money from our donors and their funds managers. </p>
<p>   We are grateful to our donors and fund managers for the recent $ 661. We would like to start an adopt a woman program in order to enhance participation between the women and willing donors. We would like to hear from you regarding this.</p>
<p>   Stand by for the pictures in September 2010.
Report #4 - 10-11-2007
A-Z Narrative progress report till September, 2007
By Lydia Bakaki - Founding Director
<p>A-Z aims to create visibility of the plight of the African woman in the transition from communal to market based economies. The plan is to create a model village that brings together women that have been sent out of their homes at divorce or death of spouse and advocate for policy change. Since the inception of Asante Na Zawadi project, we have carried out three sets of activities. We have purchased 123 acres of land and embarked on the construction phase, made two trips to Uganda to launch the project and carried out appreciative inquiry with the women to work out which way forward for the project. Following is a more detailed account of the purchase and surveying of the land, the presentation to the U.S. Congress and the two trips to Uganda.</p>
<p>Construction and visitors</p>
<p>In January 2007 Lydia Bakaki and Joe Cistone went to Uganda to lay a foundation stone on the Asante na Zawadi, Centre for Reciprocal Learning, and to find out the whereabouts of the Domestic Relations Bill (The law that would have provided for spousal joint property ownership of the matrimonial home among other provisions in Uganda, East Africa) which Ugandan women have advocated for since 1953 and in its relatively current form since 1989. The aim was to verify the allegations that the international community has over the years been responsible for the failure of the property related demands of the women. The group also aimed to find out whether the cultural leaders consider their role relevant to women empowerment at all. </p>
<p>The building that was launched can house 10 women living semi-communally. It is made of Adobe bricks joined with cement and mortar. Although the 10 people house is very nice to look at, it is very expensive. For that reason the house is getting built at a very slow rate. It still remains at slightly above the foundation level. In October the Asante group made a decision to embark on two new mud and wattle houses to work as police house and office. The process of construction involves a contractor procuring builders supervising them and preparing the draft manual of construction. By report time, construction was still in progress and the report still being compiled. The pictures of the houses will be attached to the next progress report. </p>
<p>As a result of the mission, we also found out that the Parliament of Uganda plans to put an oral question to the executive to require an update on the Domestic Relations Bill. By doing so, Parliament can debate the issue even if it is not on the order paper and come up with a resolution. Parliament uses that procedure to pass a Parliamentary resolution to require government to expedite the presentation of an issue to the Ugandan Parliament. By so doing members of the Ugandan Parliament hope that the executive will be made to include the DRB in their work plan. We also learnt that the Women Parliamentarians group has a DRB committee and have the DRB on the organizational work plan 2007. I volunteered to help with the development of the proposal, to help the Women Parliamentarians access the DANIDA funds and implement the project successfully</p>
<p>The cultural leaders on the other hand expressed their regret for abandoning their female subjects to such levels of suffering. The Minister of Gender in the Buganda Kingdom made a plan to rectify the situation by providing guidance to clan leaders and family heads. A meeting was scheduled that day to look into the matter. The Minister relayed our concerns to the King of Buganda. The King expressed support to the cause.</p>
<p>Although we found that the International community in Uganda no longer uses Laws, as conditionality for funds releases, to the Ugandan Government, Danida Human Rights and Democratization Program, reiterated its commitment to fund the Ugandan Women Parliamentarians in their quest for the DRB. </p>
<p>In June 2007 Elizabeth Kucinich and Lydia Bakaki went to Uganda. They were supposed travel with Joe, Director of International Partners in Mission and with Marcia Odel, founder of WORTH, a microfinance project that is works in developing countries but they were not able to travel at that time due to schedule conflicts. The aim of the trip was to complete the Appreciative Inquiry workshop that Lydia started on in January 2007 and investigate the WORTH microfinance method for replication. We also planned to visit policy makers at the level of government for visibility. </p>
<p>Elizabeth traveled before Lydia and visited the WORTH Microfinance groups in Mbale in Eastern Uganda. As a result of her visit and prior briefing, Elizabeth found out that the women pool their money and have the members with viable projects borrow the money at a small interest. The group profits are shared by whoever put money into the pool. The method was found suitable for A-Z. WORTH committed to send some women from the established groups to A-Z to train the women. It was agreed that A-Z’s would meet the cost of translating the materials while other modalities would be discussed and agreed on between WORTH and A-Z. After further deliberations, it was found that A-Z is better off developing their own micro enterprise system and implements it without incurring the expense of translating materials and other coincidental costs. The implementation of this activity will start after the women have moved onto the land.</p>
<p>The Appreciative Inquiry session was meant to take place at Uganda Women’s Network compound. The meeting had been planned for the morning but due to changes in our schedule, the meeting took place in the afternoon. The meeting aimed at coming up with best practices in the women’s past to carry with them into the village. The meeting also planned to come up with a ground plan of the village. There was also a plan to travel to the land and distribute plots to the women. Due to time constraints, the women discussed the plan in a hurry. The group went straight into planning. The women discussed and drew what they thought the village should look like. In response to the suggestion of a corporative the women expressed that they wished each one of them to have their own plot. They would then organize their houses in four clusters or create a township where a school, hospital and their houses would be built. The women emphasized the need for each of them to acquire ownership of an acre of land within the communal living system. They said that they did not mind how the place would be organized or where the houses would be built. It was agreed that the plan would be a living plan and that they would have a chance to adjust it at anytime before the finalization of the plan. </p>
<p>When the group got to the land, the surveyors were not at the land to show the women the boundaries. However over the next four days the surveyors re-divided the land into plots. Lydia was also able to meet with some people that had started encroaching on the land. She got together the local council leader, the political leaders, government officials, police and the people to discuss when they will stop encroaching on the land. The people agreed if they can be given a small portion of the land next to their land, they would stop encroaching on the land. They agreed that the surveyors would adjust the plan accordingly. We showed the women who were present the boundaries of their various plots. The women were about 10 in number. UWONET plans to show more women their boundaries in September 2007.</p>
<p>Although the project continues to run under a strict budget, the project has been able to increase the visibility of Ugandan women in the transition from communal to private ownership of property. The project now boasts of houses being built and visits by policy makers including Elizabeth Kucinich and Joe Cistone, Executive Director International Partners in Mission. We intend to double our efforts in fundraising and to improve coordination</p>
<p>Future plans </p>
<p>1.   The project plans to distribute land to more women and to get some houses built on the land in order to avoid further encroachment. An agreement has been developed between the surveyor and the project to get all the land demarcated by the end of the year.
2.   In the short run, the project intends to construct a police house and one woman’s home. The area Member of Parliament, the Councilor and the local Police promised to grant the project a police post if we can provide an office for police on duty. The office would double as a house for the family of the policeman in charge of the station. We plan to use the money that remained from the launch to construct two houses.
3.   The long-term plan is to construct the village. The construction will depend on how fast we can secure money for construction. The project women have offered in-kind labor while they learn on the job how to construct. The plan is to have them take over from the constructors. The women intent to form a construction company after learning and securing a construction manual for rural women. The constructors agreed to develop a manual as part of the teaching and supervision of the women.