| BASIN - News No 11. March 1996: BASIN and the city summit |
Since BASIN was formed our network is collaborating with NGOs, organisations, institutions and networks in developing countries which are actively engaged in or contributing to solving the problems of shelter provision and the deteriorating human settlement environment. One such network is the Shelter Forum in Kenya. It was set up as a forum for improving access to affordable shelter, especially for low-income groups, among the most vulnerable are women and chil-dren in Kenya.
The Shelter Forum is a coalition of non-governmental organisations which deal with issues related to shelter provision in Kenya. It was established in August 1990 after in-depth deliberations among key institutions and groups dealing with these issues. The initial group of institutions and organisations included representatives from the Housing and Building Research Institute (HABRI) of the University of Nairobi, the Mazingira Institute, the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK), the UNDUGU Society, Action Aid Kenya, Approtec, World Scouts Bureau and the Intermediate Technology Development Group (IT) Kenya. At present there are over 300 supporting and 11 permanent members. The Forum is in the process of being legally registered as NGO.
It works through three interlinked programmes:
- in Advocacy: On enabling policies, legislation and the right to secure a place to live;
- in Extension: Of know-how and concrete action: The Forum shares information on various modes of housing delivery, thereby enabling poor rural and urban communities to acquire improved standards of shelter;
- in Networking: On sharing information and experiences and on building solidarity.
As a networking organisation Shelter Forum has been looking for partners with whom to work together in these programmes. BASIN has had contacts and working relations with the Forum for a number of years. Especially in view of advancing the HABITAT II process and promoting its objectives the decision was taken at the last BASIN-meeting in October 1995 to offer to the Forum a partnership in the BASIN network. Both BASIN and the Shelter Forum deemed it to be in the interest of their members to enter into such a partnership for the coordination, monitoring and distribution of information on the promotion of affordable shelter development in countries in the South. BASIN, based in the North, and the Shelter Forum active in the South, are matching partners.
Especially in view of the challenges which we are all facing in relation to the shelter situation worldwide as we move into the 21st century, there is need to come together and build a united front. International solidarity and partnership is one of the most viable approaches for solving the problems in relation to human settlements at present and in the future. Together with the new Southern partner BASIN can much more effectively contribute to tackling the above mentioned challenges.
With the Accreditation to HABITAT II in which the Shelter Forum has already been involved BASIN takes an active role at the conference. We sincerely hope that, together with the Forum as the new BASIN partner an input on „Appropriate Building Technology" as a necessary precondition for affordable shelter provision can be provided and influenced into the Global Plan for Action at HABITAT II in Istanbul in June this year.