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Preparing for the Big Move

A key part of pre-move preparation is the implementation of a social preparation program whereby individual households visit their new house, the new village and generally become acquainted with their new living environment. Through this process, family members have a first-hand introductory experience of the layout of the house and garden, the rooms and kitchen, the latrines, the delivery of electricity and water, etc. They also visit the administrative post, the community centre, the health clinic, the primary school, the market place, and other landmarks that are relevant to their living experience.

Mrs. Soabo Issa Momede and Mr. Ali Ussene Simba

Husband and wife Mrs. Soabo Issa Momede and Mr. Ali Ussene Simba, originally from Milamba 1, visited their new house (nr. 330) at Quitunda before their big move to the village. The couple describe the first visit to their new house before they moved in as an exciting moment. Both Mrs. Momede and Mr. are employed by the Project, and what makes their story even more extraordinary is that they participated in the construction of their own house! They are happy to be part of the team building the new village.

Mrs. Momede recalled the experience of visiting their new house: “We arrived at the house and went inside. I could see that everything was constructed solidly and that the structure was sturdy. There were so many things: switches, a kitchen inside the house, a place to do our laundry, taps from which we could now get fresh water for drinking…. Outside, there was a yard where our children could play. I was delighted!"

For Mr. Simba, life had already started to change even before they moved into their new house. Mr. Simba used to practice agriculture but when construction on Quitunda village started, he was recruited to join a construction team. “Since I started working on the project, I have not picked up a hoe, gone to the beach with my fishing mask, or to the bush to collect wood. In the past, I would have carried the wood on my head to a place where I could sell it. Now, I am earning my salary, I am working safely and I am taking care never to hurt myself or anyone of my fellow workers. I have never been injured or had an accident during work."

Mrs. Soabo Issa Momede and Mr. Ali Ussene Simba, like all other families who will move to Quitunda, will have the opportunity to participate in activities to get accustomed with the responsibilities associated with their new houses. A special programme is run during which families receive advice and participate in demonstrations about aspects of housekeeping such as sanitation, the wise consumption of water and electricity, and “how to” tasks, such as what to do when your house keys don’t fit in the lock, and how to ensure safety around glass windows. During the house visit, families are also introduced to new ways of practicing agriculture within the village in a backyard garden, how to set it up and take care of it, and how to build a goat and chicken pen. In this way, people get to see that moving to the new village will also bring opportunities to learn new ways of improving their daily livelihood activities, while also thinking of tomorrow.

The Project recognises that while moving to a new house is an event, settling into a new house, a new village and a new way of life is also a process. To that end the Resettlement Plan continues for several years after physical relocation, working to ensure that households are successfully settled and that they have been able to re-establish and develop their livelihoods.

Construction of Phase 1 of Quitunda village was completed by May 2019 and Phase 1 relocation occurred from July to December 2019. Phase 1 has seen the relocation of 186 families, comprising 1,204 people. Phases 2 and 3 will see the construction of another 474 houses and relocation of families. When complete the village will comprise approximately 660 houses and over 3000 people.

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