Carlos Cambuta – Policy and Advocacy Manager, ADRA and General Secretary for the Angolan Network on Education For All – has through is professional career a standing commitment of working for a just distribution of resources in Angola. Read his opinion on the housing situation in Angola – an area closely connected to the right to land.
Is there the right to house in Angola? This is the question that I have been always doing to myself and I believe that I am not the unique citizen who reflects on this. As a social observer I can affirm that the issue related to the right to house domains different meetings amongst different people, but most of them show interest in having a house with better conditions, such as current water, electrical energy, access to the roads, etc.
The debate on the right to house in Angola is not limited to some provinces and this is due to the fact that civil war affected the whole country. Nevertheless, civil war that has been utilized as a mean to justify the reason why most of Angolan population does not live in good houses should be questioned. The Angolan Government is currently building lots of houses in almost all provinces, but who is benefitting from them? How is it possible to benefit from them when most of people, especially youth is jobless? I am not defending the idea that the Angolan Government has to build and offer houses to young people, but to effectively create mechanisms that meet the current context of the youth, such as working on and implementing projects of capacity building to answer the youth’s needs, and supporting them with some means so that they can develop their skills and consequently become good professionals.
Photos of living conditions from Zango I, in Luanda – an area of so called temporary residencies.
Another important point to mention here is the fact that some houses located in suburbs areas in some provinces such as Luanda, Benguela, Huíla and Cuando-Cubango are being demolished by the Government and a big number of the owners are living in temporary houses without current water, electricity, just to mention a few of them. According to local authorities the reasons to these demolitions are simply to protect those people who live in the areas of risks mainly in rain season. Indeed, this idea is very excellent and this is the main function of any State, but it is absolutely difficult to understand how the government demolishes houses and abandon people who are forced to live for many time in temporary houses made of inappropriate material. For instance, in Zango I&II villages there are still many families living under these circumstances.
All the problems mentioned above can be solved with a strong action of lobby and advocacy from individuals and agencies of development such as civil society organizations. For the case of Angola, these problems can be satisfactorily overcome due to the current political context that is favorable for dialogue because the government is opened to dialogue with its citizens.
In this perspective the Angolan Network on Education For All, to which ADRA is a part, has been mobilizing other civil society organizations, social media and the whole society to create spaces of debates to reflect on the issues of demolitions and present its statement to the Government. ADRA and the Network understand that the right of living in a good is a crucial factor for school success.
Policy and Advocacy Manager, ADRA
General Secretary for the Angolan Network on Education For All