By NOEL IYOMBWA
GOVERNMENT will continue implementing policies and programmes that promote access to decent housing for the defence forces.
Defence Minister Davies Chama said Government was aware that decent housing was a basic social need.
Mr Chama said Government has put in place programmes to upgrade squatter settlements, create new housing facilities throughout the country.
The minister said this during the launch of build a house brick by brick empowerment initiative at Zambia Air Force (ZAF) base in Chamba Valley in Lusaka.
Mr Chama explained that coupled with the available financing options through the credit union savings association, loans, special and salary advances, among others, personnel would be able to build a house brick by brick.
“I am confident that this initiative will reduce the failure rate and prepare Air Force personnel for separation from the system through retirement. Empowering personnel with the means to own a house will ensure that they have the basic social need of shelter.
“I implore you not only to sustain this initiative but to grow it to explore other means of reducing the cost of building for personnel,” Mr Chama said.
ZAF commander Lieutenant-General David Muma said under the initiative personnel would be given an opportunity to access a minimum of 5, 000 building blocks at a cheaper price.
Lt-Gen Muma said the blocks would be accessed on a two-year credit facility deductible from pay to give personnel the leverage to build. He said that the current production rate was 5, 000 blocks per day but once fully operational production would increase to 20, 000 blocks per day.
Lt-Gen Muma said the service was committed to partnering with Government in improving the welfare of the men and women in uniform.