|Training Human Settlement Workers in Eastern & Southern Africa (AFSC - Mazingira Institute, 1981)|
|The settlements situation|
About 80% of the seven million people in Angola live in rural areas where they farm, fish or keep animals. Most of the villages scattered throughout the 1,250,000 km² of Angolan territory lack basic services and public facilities. Timber latching and mud plaster (pau e pique) or mud block walls with thatched roofs are the commonest forms of construction. Villages near major cities increasingly use industrially produced materials, such as concrete blocks and sheet metal roofing, despite their scarcity.
It is estimated that the population of the capital, Luanda, doubled. between 1973 and 1979, and that about 70% are squatters. The war, and the lack of rural employment, goods and services, are some of the major reasons for this immense movement of people. The squatter settlements cover huge unplanned areas which are densely populated and without services.
Government effort to provide conventional, fully-serviced and finished housing units have not been sufficient to meet the rapidly increasing demand. The regulations for self-help housing (auto construcao) were approved in November 1980 and the government is now attempting to organise and mobilise self-help housing; simultaneous action in rural and urban areas is necessary to improve human settlements and reduce the rate of migration to cities.
The Development Workshop, an international group of architects, planners and researchers, is presently working in Angola with the National Directorate of Urbanism and Building and the Ministry of Construction on a program of 'construcao popular' in the rural and urban sectors. The training of builders in the use of improved locally available materials forms a major part of a proposal to the Ministry of Construction. The group has carried out training programs in Iran and Niger and it is proposed to use a similar method in Angola, although the details of the program are modified to suit local conditions. The proposal and the earlier work in Iran and Niger form the subject of one of the Training Case Studies.