Friday, 15 August 2008 3:02 PM

'Informal Housing Sectors' A Problem

As the informal housing industry spirals out of control, so too are the problems related to the growing industry.

The rise of squatter settlements around Honiara has brought with it a high number of health problems among other things.

Solomon Times spoke to Honiara City Council's, Chief Health Inspector, Tom Nanau regarding the rising informal housing sectors on the outskirts of Honiara.

"Such informal buildings should not be allowed around Honiara. Although it caters for low income earners, people should understand that such houses are a breeding ground for a lot of health problems. It would not have proper ventilation therefore it would add to a lot of health risks," stressed Mr. Nanau.

"Because of our tradition, we tend to live with a lot of other relatives and when there is overcrowding, no water and no proper sanitation, people are prone to diarrhoea, dysentery, tuberculosis and hook worms," he added.

"People do not have authority from the Honiara City Council to build such houses. In such a case, these people are already breaking the law by building such houses without permission. Often these houses lack the criteria by the City Council," he continues.

The City Council has been doing its best to prevent the building of squatters around Honiara; however, Mr. Nanau also stated that the Council cannot do it if people still are ignorant.

"The Council needs a legislation to tackle such problems, otherwise, the order of the urban development formality will be lost and this could discourage investors from our city," Mr. Nanau stressed.

Mr. Nanau also revealed that because people are ignorant they tend to continue building within and outside Honiara Centres without consent from the Council. Informal housing such as this also put at risk the health of other Honiara residents.