Category Archives: Housing

The human touch

By Zubeida Mustafa

A SPARK has been lit in a 3,500-strong community living in the backwaters of Larkana district. Known as Khairo Dero, the place was the antithesis of what its name implies: it was one of the most depressed goths in the area. A turning point came in 2004. A young female journalist touring rural Sindh was deeply moved by the neglect and apathy she witnessed, especially in Khairo Dero, her ancestral village.

That was Naween Mangi, today the Pakistan bureau chief of Bloomberg, a premier American business and financial news channel. It took her four years to internalise the despondency of her people and think of a strategy to breathe new life into their existence. Thus she hoped to bring about the ‘silent revolution’ she had begun to dream of. Continue reading

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A city with two souls

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

THE much-touted Prime Minister`s Housing Scheme (PMHS) is heading for doom. The housing minister disclosed recently that the government had signed 36 MoUs with a number of foreign construction companies but none had so far begun work on the project aiming for one million `low-cost` housing units completed at a cost of Rs40bn.
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1 Comment | Posted in Development and Poverty, Housing, Social Issues |

The mansion that Parveen built

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

THE Sindh minister for katchi abadis observed recently that it was essential to provide `affordable` housing to the poor on a timely basis to make the land mafia go out of business. Correct, but impractical.

The honourable minister obviously has no inkling about how costly an activity house-building is, how limited the government`s resources are, how acute the housing shortage is and what poverty means. For the poor, hapless victims of the land mafia, the officially `affordable` is actually unaffordable.
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1 Comment | Posted in Housing, Social Issues |

Why make people homeless?

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

IT IS ironical that it required a massive show of strength in the form of a large demonstration in Karachi on June 2 to get the city government to stop the demolition of katchi abadis it had been carrying on in a very determined way.

The protest rally organised by the Pakhtoon Action Committee two weeks ago blocked the main arteries of Karachi and caused such a traffic jam that the administration was forced to rethink its policies — at least for the present.
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The pain of being displaced

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

IN LATE January some members of the Hindu community living in Rehmatia Colony on the south bank of the Lyari river in Gulshan-i-Iqbal Town — now razed to the ground to give the right of way to the Lyari Expressway Project (LEP) — approached me to narrate their tale of woe.

They had been displaced when their jhuggis were bulldozed. That is how Somi, Seeta, Mitha, Jeeta and about 100 others, including children, were left without a roof above their head on a wintry January day. They had become victims of the phenomenon called development-related forced displacement.
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