As part of Liberia president, His Excellency George Manneh Weah mandate to modernize rural housing across the country, the National Housing Authority (NHA) has announced the creation of a Rural Upgrading Department responsible to oversee affairs on rural communities in the country.
According to a press release, NHA Managing Director Hon. Duannah Siryon said the creation of the Rural Upgrading Unit (RUU) has become necessary so that the NHA will be able to have available at its fingertips information about rural housing in the country.
“For example,” Hon. 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 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 George Manneh Weah’s primary objectives to ensure that his administration build affordable, modernized and durable housing for rural communities that will include electricity and safe drinking water,” he said.
Hon. Siryon said Monrovia is not Liberia and therefore the things that attract many Liberians from rural community should be provided to them so that they can live comfortably while developing their communities.
He explained that President Weah 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 data on 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,” Hon. 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 reviewed by parties involved, including the Liberian government, to guide the government and partners effort to rebuild and upgrade slum communities throughout the country.