The National Housing Policy elaborates on the policy objectives, which are aimed at addressing the key issues and challenges in the housing sector.
The Director of Housing, in the Ministry of Local Government, Chieftainship, Home Affairs and Police, Ms. Mamphaka Mabesa said this on Tuesday when officially opening on behalf of the Principal Secretary of the Lesotho National Housing Policy and National Slum Upgrading & Prevention Strategy Dissemination Workshop in Maseru.
The workshop which has been organised by the Department of Housing aims to raise awareness of the legal documents and attract positive responses as well as the participation of all key stakeholders: including government, private sector, palatals as well as citizens toward achieving the goal of adequate housing by all.
Ms. Mabesa said the National Housing Policy vision envisages a country in which everyone has equal access to safe, affordable and adequate housing, saying the housing policy states the challenges of the housing sector in Lesotho and the objectives with the first objective aiming to promote housing as a national agenda.
She said this coincides very well with the NSDP II Strategic focus on increasing the supply of adequate and affordable housing in Lesotho to address the housing demand and need.
Moreover, she said the achievement of these objectives will contribute directly to the Agenda 2030 for sustainable development aims to achieve 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the year 2030, noting that one of these goals is SDG 11 which aims to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.
She further noted that SDG 11, should be underpinned by effective policies and laws that will ensure access for all to adequate, safe, and affordable housing and basic services, enhancing inclusive and sustainable urbanisation. Therefore is a need for effective implementation of the National Housing Policy as well as the development of a practical and responsive housing law.
Ms. Mabesa said this calls for the effective participation of all relevant key stakeholders in policy implementation.
On the same note, she said the Lesotho National Slum Upgrading and Prevention Strategy on the other hand will ensure that the upgrading of slums is carried out in an integrated manner that resonates with the wider urban development agenda, noting that It puts in place strategies for deterring the formation of new slums by ensuring that the causative issues are dealt with in advance.
She said slum upgrading aims at achieving quality and adequate housing for the urban poor, providing basic services and attaining good environmental health qualities, adding that slum upgrading also seeks to enhance the social economic status of the residents as it provides the previously missing crucial social amenities while enhancing the economic well-being of the residents.
In conclusion, she said the New Urban Agenda promotes sustainable urban development in cities and human settlements with an emphasis on inclusive participation by all stakeholders and urban actors. Lesotho like other countries is committed to establishing a legal and policy framework based on the principles of inclusivity, and equality to better enable the government to implement national urban policies as appropriate.
Speaking at the same event, Housing Officer, Mr. Seisa Ramaisa said the policy provides a vision of the government of Lesotho for the development of adequate housing, saying the SDG 11 will guide the policy and Africa agenda 2063.
Mr. Ramaisa said adequate housing is characterised by having full services such as affordability, habitability, accessibility and location.
However, he said key challenges in housing factors in Lesotho include an increased need for affordable urban housing, ineffective land use planning and management framework, and a rapid increase in unplanned settlements with limited services among others.
The purpose of the workshop was to disseminate the National Housing Policy and review the draft of the National Slum Upgrading and Prevention Strategy. Similar workshops will be held in TY, Berea.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Government of Lesotho.