Assessing the provision of interim services role in prom oting livelihood strategies in informal settlements: case of aMaoti-Mozambique in iNanda.
Tenza, Owen Thabiso.
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Rapid urbanisation, especially in developing countries, has led to the mushrooming of informal settlements that lack basic services such as water, sanitation and electricity. This study assesses the extent to which the provision of interim basic services to informal settlements that are due for incremental upgrading or relocation promotes livelihood strategies, using aMaoti-Mozambique in iNanda, eThekwini Municipality, as a case study. The study’s objectives included exploring the nature of the livelihood strategies that could be adopted given the provision of interim services; the challenges associated with providing such services; the role players in the provision of interim services; and lessons for policy and practice. A qualitative research approach was adopted and a questionnaire, in-depth interviews and observation were used to gather data. The study revealed that aMaoti-Mozambique was provided with electricity, water, sanitation, waste management, and roads. Community members expressed satisfaction with these services. In terms of livelihood strategies, it was found that some residents opted not to receive government-funded housing as they have already developed their homes. The freedom to self-build with the provision of interim services has created sustainable livelihoods for future generations. Furthermore, residents have utilised the interim services provided to start numerous small businesses that serve the local community. In order to build on this success, the study recommends that a bottom-up approach be adopted and that community participation be strengthened. This would ensure that such projects meet residents’ needs and promote local custodianship of the infrastructure and services provided. It is also recommended that basic services such as water and sanitation should be provided inside households. Finally, innovative, cost-effective new technologies should be harnessed to improve living conditions in informal settlements.