THE housing need in Tanzania is estimated to be 3 million units with annual increase of 200,000 units. The existence of house deficit is very high with consideration of the quality of houses and congestions in line with important services like water and electricity.
The housing deficit in urban areas in the country is estimated to be 1.2 million units, of which 36 percent are in Dar es Salaam. Being one of the new administrative regions in the country, Simiyu Region is facing the challenge of shortage of houses.
The region was officially established in 2012. It is formed by five districts, which are Itilima, Busega, Maswa, Meatu and Bariadi. The Region covers an area of 23,807.7 Square Kilometers and administratively it consists of six Local Government Authorities, 16 divisions, 109 wards and 475 villages.
In 2002 the population in the area was only 1.1 million people. But the 2012 National Census shows that the region population had increased to 1.6 people with a growth rate of 2.8 percent annually.
Since the establishment of the new region, there has been an increase of population in the region due to the opening of various opportunities, which attract service providers, traders and investment in the area.
The rapid growth of population has led to the increase of house demands in the region. According to the residents, the number of government officials, traders and other service providers all hunt for houses on streets.
This is enough evidence to prove to various housing agencies in the country to set investments in the region. With the population of more than 1.6 people of which 824,266 are female and 759,891 male, it is obvious there is high demand of houses for ordinary wananchi, government officials, traders and other investors.
The population grows at the rate of 2.8 percent annually. Since its establishment, there has been rapid growth in the industrial sector. The industrial development of Simiyu Region com prises of large, medium and small-scale industrial establishments scattered in the Region.
The large scale and medium size industries comprises of oil mills and ginneries while small scale industries are dominated by flour milling, tailoring, carpentry, welding, garages, printing and rice processing industries.
All these industries employ hundreds of people who need modern houses. Moreover, mining sector is another investment area that attracts both local and foreign investors. Job seekers travel thousands of kilometers to seek jobs in Simiyu Region, in that case, they also need a place to stay.
Thus, building agencies and housing cooperation have a great opportunity to build house for sell or for rent. According to the information obtained from the regional commissioner’s office, the investment in the Mining sector is growing moderately since it has been complemented by the Government policy of attracting investment into the sector.
Nickel has been discovered at Dutwa in Bariadi District and salt is found at Lukole village in Meatu District. The mining of salt is performed locally by using traditional tools and extraction of nickel is still at infant stage and little is known about its actual potential.
Furthermore, being the new region, Simiyu is striving to improve infrastructure for providing education. Investors in the education sector have been invited to establish primary and secondary schools as well as colleges and higher learning institutions.
According to the statistics, by January, 2013 the region had registered public and private Pre Primary Education schools 365 with total number of 37,518 students. The Region has a total of 427 registered Primary Schools of which 423 are government and 4 private owned.
The Region has a total Number of 148 Secondary schools of which 139 are government owned and 9 private. Also the Region has 5 Government Vocational Training Centre. Teachers, tutors and other supporting staff in these academic institutions need houses and other infrastructure to enable them offer qual ity education to students.
There are also need of dormitories and hostels for students in both secondary schools and vocation colleges. Also the establishment of higher learning institutions in the region is very crucial.
One of the teachers who spoke to the ‘Daily News’, Mr Ibrahim Majura said many teachers in Busega District are renting poor houses in various villages in the area. He stays in Badugu village in Busega District.
“We are going through various challenges but we understand our good government is setting plans to build us houses, we stay in villages where there is no electricity or reliable transport, but since we are committed to our job, life goes on,” he said.
According to Mr Majura, there was need for the financial institutions and housing agencies to recognise the opportunity and focus on setting housing investment in Simiyu Region.
He said a big number of government officials in various sectors including health, education and those in councils were also in need of houses. Commenting on the need of houses and general town planning programs in the region, the Regional Commissioner (RC), Mr Anthony Mtaka told the ‘Daily News’ that the government has already negotiated with Tanzania Building Agency (TBA) on the matter.
He said his office invites all building and housing corporation to invest in the region. “We are inviting the National Housing Corporation (NHC), TBA, Watumishi housing and all other organisation to come and support us in building Simiyu Region,” he said.
According to the RC, Simiyu Region is set to maintain town planning principles in setting structures. Speaking during the business forum, which took place in the region last month, some participants including members of parliament invited financial institutions and various organisations to establish various investments in the region.
The forum was organised by Tanzania Stan dard Newspapers Limited (TSN), which publishes ‘Daily News’, ‘Sunday News’, Habari Leo, Habari Leo Jumapili and Spoti Leo. Speaking during the forum, TSN Managing Editor, Dr Jimmy Yonazi said the forum aimed at exposing business opportunities and investments in Simiyu Region.
He called all participants to share ideas, experience and make sure they promote available opportunities in the region for betterment of the nation.
Busega MP, Dr Raphael Chegeni said financial institutions need to reach to people and listen to their problems. He said farmers need loans to o modern farming and construct modern houses. Housing