Initiating a housing rehabilitation program in Kinshasa City/Zaire : self-help upgrading project for the improvement of the Southern Extension District
This study addresses urban planning problems in the post-independence zones or townships of Kinshasa, the capital of Zaire. It serves as a demonstration project aiming at showing how local resources, labor and funds could be mobilized to help local people solve the problems affecting their communities. It supports the view that with little government support and/or international contribution, self-help projects could be initiated in Kinshasa city before they may be extended to the rest of the country. This particular pilot project is intended for the improvement of the Southern Extension District (S.E.D.).It covers an area about 5 Kilometers long and 2.5 Kms. wide, which comprises the entire zone of Bumbu, the eastern side of Makala, and the Northern side of Selembao zones. This site was selected for the various resources needed for the Self-Help Project. The major problems of this post-independence district are erosion/flooding, substandard houses, and lack of playgrounds for children.It is proposed that an organizational framework becreated, which will coordinate an ongoing process of improvement through self-help effort. Actions that the residents and the government need to undertake in order to create such a framework are suggested. Creation of an independent entity named "Office of Special Project", whose personnel will come from the Department of Planning and Urban Management (B.E.A.U.), Housing Department and Public Works department is also suggested. This office will serve as a sponsoring agency whose mission is to create a multipurpose co-operative at each zone or township level and to supervise the improvement process. Its staff will meet on a regular basis with the representatives of these co-operatives to discuss the problems of the community with the local people and provide them with the expertise needed to complete the project successfully.