Briefing event of 5 model cities Project
On 15 August 2022, a briefing event of the “5 model Cities Project” was organized in Siddhipur, ward 6 of Mahalaxmi Municipality, in presence of newly elected Mayor, ward representatives of Mahalaxmi Municipality, Ward 6 and 8, all the housing beneficiaries and representative of User committee along with other local stakeholders. The program was organized by City Heritage Management Committee which was formed to execute and manage the “5 Model Cities Project” in the municipality. The main aim of the program was to share about the process, progress and impact of project to the new elected local representatives.
Various capacity building training like waste management, Rooftop framing, cleaning campaign, entrepreneurship training, community product exhibition, etc. was also linked to these families and community during the project phase with support of various partner organization.
During the program, the welcome and introduction of the Lumanti organization was given by executive director of Lumanti Ms. Lajana Manandhar. The housing programme manager Lumanti Joshi shared about the various works carried out by Lumanti in Siddhipur, Mahalaxmi Municipality since 2010. The introduction to the 5-model Cities project and its process, progress and impact was shared through detail presentation by Lumanti team. The financial detail of the project was explained by representative of Didibahini women Cooperative.
The “Heritage Management committee” has nine members representing municipality, ward 6, ward 8, Didibahini women cooperative, local community leaders and Lumanti as a facilitator. The committee is chaired by the mayor and financial management was done by Didibahini Cooperative. The project was funded by ACHR- SELAVIP. The project was started in August 2020. The project has mainly three components: Big Housing Project, small scale Infrastructure and City process to facilitate the participatory rebuilding and strengthening the community organization, in our case, Didibahini Cooperative through various capacity building programs.
The Big Housing project supported 40 needy families of Siddhipur and Lubhoo with soft loan program. which was implemented by community partner Didibahini women Cooperative of Siddhipur. This housing project aimed to help the low-income families living in the heritage areas of Mahalaxmi municipality, Siddhipur and Lubhoo. The support from the project was provided as loan of Nrs.2,00,000 with 2% interest so that it can be revolved to provide assistance to other similar needy families in the Kathmandu Valley. The funds were managed by Didibahini women Cooperative of Siddipur whereas the Lumanti team provided the socio technical assistance to the families reconstructing or completing their houses.
Through the small-scale infrastructure projects, 6 areas in Lubhoo and 8 areas in Siddhipur were specified to improve the community infrastructure. The nature of projects varied from upgrading the courtyards and pathways, the water bodies, public toilet and public Green Park. Among 14, 9 projects were related to upgrading the courtyard and pathways likes streets, alleys, underpass, 2 projects were public green park improvisation, 2 projects were upgrading water bodies and 1 project was public toilet construction. The small-scale project focused on enhancing the quality of public open space. While selecting the small-scale projects, the priority was given to the ones which had be more impact on the community with small amount of funds. This project provided flexible budget which allowed the community to plan and implement small yet impactful rehabilitation projects within their settlement, which brought community together into an active and united force. In addition to this, they were also able to pool in additional fund from local government and community themselves.
Chairperson of ward 8, Bishow Raj Shrestha addressed the program by sharing the experience of working with the community, learning from the project which could be useful in new projects in future. He stressed on exploring the new possibilities of collaboration for comprehensive development of Lubhoo and Siddhipur. Chair of ward 6, Dharma Maharjan appreciated the transparent and participatory process and impact made by the project. He requested to continue such meaningful partnership in future as well. Delivering the closing remarks Mayor of Mahalaxmi Municipality City Hari Govinda Shrestha appreciated the efforts made by Lumanti and Didi Bahini Cooperative for the positive transformation of the poor communities in Mahalaxmi municipality. He expressed his gratitude to Lumanti for its long-term partnership and support that it has been providing to the Municipality. On his remarks, he also urged the newly elected ward representatives and members for their support and contribution towards other future initiatives.