Why UTT surveys unplanned plots in Bukoba

21Apr 2016
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Why UTT surveys unplanned plots in Bukoba

THE issue of safe, affordable and quality housing has been a pain in the flesh of policy makers, the world over, including Tanzania.

Students of Kitoi Secondary School in Bukoba Municipal display a dummy cheque worth 10m/- handed to them by UTT-PID for the construction of their laboratory. The project has provided several benefits.

The country has seen a boom in housing in the last decade coupled with emergence of impressive houses that are continuing to be built in areas beyond the traditional Central Business Districts (CBDs) of the country’s cities.

In spite of this increase, still there are still unplanned settlements with the number of houses built in their different types and style which are not in proper plan. Numerous houses have also sprung up haphazardly in areas that are not surveyed, technically known as squatter areas.

The government under the ministry of land, housing and human settlements developments has been working tirelessly to prepare several city master plans that would help to reduce unplanned settlement in various regions like Dar es Salaam, Bukoba and other regions.

In a move to support government initiatives, the Bukoba Municipal Council has recently resumed the 5000 land survey project that was previously suspended due to corruption allegations raised by the then Bukoba town lawmaker, who claimed that the project was not meant to help the citizens.

The grand project was designed by Bukoba urban strategic development planning of 2008-2028 in collaboration with United Nation-HABITAT under the full sponsorship of Unit Trust of Tanzania (UTT) Project and Infrastructure Development that injected a whopping amount of 2.9bn /- to cover the entire cost of the project.

Speaking to The Guardian recently in Bukoba, its Deputy Mayor Jimmy Kalugendo said that they had jointly agreed with the councilors and other municipal executives to push ahead with the project in order to ensure the un-surveyed plots are surveyed and the citizens are offered their title deed.

The Municipal decided to carry on with the implementation of the project after the committee that was formed by the Bukoba Deputy Mayor reported that the project did not involve any corruption or fraud that was initially linked to the project.

“Currently, the implementation of the project is inevitable as there is a huge demand for the surveyed land with title deeds in Bukoba by the citizens,” said Deputy Mayor.

“The project was basically designed to increase the number of surveyed settlements with title deeds mainly to reduce unplanned settlement, to attract investors and to improve the outlook of Bukoba urban,” he noted.

According to Kalugendo, the Municipal agreed with Unit Trust of Tanzania-Project and Infrastructure Development to execute the project after ministry of land, housing and human settlements developments declared that it had no funds to cater the project.

The UTT funds shall cover among others the valuation, compensation, surveying costs, for the title deeds and all other costs incurred by the project.

“Historically, Bukoba Urban has no proper settlement plan which could locate basic social services like hospital, schools, worshiping plots, markets, financial institutions and government offices in specified areas which can be easily accessible by citizens,” he said.

Kalugendo detailed that, so far, the project had set aside major industrial and investment areas as well as improvement of infrastructures which were not in use due to their poor conditions.

As if that was not enough, UTT injected a total of 10m/- to support the construction of a laboratory at Kitoi Secondary School.

For his part, retired Council, Dismas Rutagwerera said that Bukoba town after realising that they hadn’t their own master plan, in 2007 in a joint seminar that involved representatives from common citizens, religious leaders, land experts and officials agreed to formulate a town master plan.

“The need for master plan was due to the fact that, the social services were not easily accessible due to poor settlement structures,” he revealed.

He said the project has covered 6 villages including Kahoro, Kagondo, Nyanga, Nshambya, Buhembe, Iyunga and kitendaguo that rejected the project.

The Municipal’s land officer Geofrey Mwasonjo said that the project intended to survey plots and set aside areas for settlements, play grounds, businesses, open spaces and areas for social services.

“Currently, total of 480 title deeds have been issued to citizens; while 240 title deeds were still being processed. In total around 1755 title deeds were expected to be issued after all payments have been made,” he said.

Apart from other advantages, the project would enable citizens to access loans from financial institutions by using their title deeds. Further, in completion the project will serves as one of the sources of revenues to the municipal through property tax.

Commenting on the project, Henerico Lushara, a resident of Bukoba applauded the project, saying that they will use their title deeds to take loans from banks for further development.

“Importantly the project will change our settlements from poor and unplanned areas to planned, surveyed and developed areas. Moreover, the project will allocate areas for social services like water and electricity, among many.

For his part, Edmund Rushekya who bought one of the plots concurred with his fellow by saying that in completion the project will be beneficial to both public and government.

He has therefore urged the municipal to carry on with the implementation of the project. Because he believed that if the municipal would properly plan the town and put in place the necessary infrastructures, would automatically draw investors into the region.

UTT-PID is a company fully owned by the government under the Ministry of Finance, the institution emanate from the restructured Unit Trust of Tanzania.

The core function of UTT-PID is to render multidimensional services in the functional areas of project Management, infrastructure development, property management, financing and other associated services.