As part of President George Weah’s mandate to modernize rural housing across the country, the National Housing Authority (NHA) has announced the creation of a Rural Upgrading Unit (RUU) responsible to oversee affairs on rural communities, a press release from the entity has said.
According to the release, NHA managing director, Duannah Siryon said the creation of the RUU has become necessary so that the NHA will be able to have available and at its fingertip information about rural housing.
“For example,” Mr. Siryon said, “if we want to know how many affordable units that should be built in any rural community, we should have the information on hand right away without delaying because of any feasibility study.”
He said the NHA has decided to create a database that should hold thousands of information about rural housing throughout the country so that those data are easily accessible at the click of a button.
“The creation of the RUU is necessary because it is one of President Weah’s primary objectives, to ensure that his administration builds affordable, modernized and durable housing for rural communities that will include electricity and safe drinking water,” Siryon said.
Mr. Siryon said Monrovia is not Liberia, and therefore, the things that attract many Liberians from rural communities should be provided to them so that they can live comfortably while developing their communities.
He said the President has mandated the NHA to provide data on the total number of communities throughout the country that may benefit from the government’s rural housing project that is being worked out for the rural poor.
“We will also need the data on the number of school buildings that should be built or refurbished; the number of market stalls that should be built in a particular community, number of mud huts, population, clinics, etc.
“Then we want to know how many clinics and how much money will be needed for this grand program,” Siryon said.
He added, “This particular department will roam from town to town and community to community to collect data that are needed for the government’s pro-poor rebuilding of communities. We need to be proactive and not reactive when the call comes.
“President Weah is passionate about rural development, and the NHA has the mandate to work along with other state actors to get it done,” he said. Among several departments, the NHA has the Slum Upgrading Unit that is working with stakeholders to improve the living conditions of slum communities across the nation.
It may be recalled that Habitat for Humanity International and Cities Alliances recently completed a four-day meeting in Monrovia and developed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that is expected to be signed after review by parties involved, including the Liberian government, to guide the government and partners’ effort to rebuild and upgrade slum communities throughout the country.