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The 2007 Population and Housing Census has found that 23 per cent of the country’s population still lives in stick and mud houses.
According to the report, the Hhohho and Shiselweni regions have the most stick and mud houses.
A total of 212 195 houses were involved in the 2007 census and they had a resident population of over one million people.
The report states that the quality of housing is "often used as a measure of the standard of living of a country and one of the most leading indicators of development. Better housing conditions are essential for human survivorship."
When officially opening Parliament earlier this year, His Majesty King Mswati III announced a budget of E1.5 billion to build houses, and during the SMART Partnership Dialogue, the King urged banks to assist Swazis to build better structures than one-roomed houses. During the census it was found that 23 per cent of the population lived in stick and mud houses while another seven per cent lived in dwellings made of mud bricks.
"With respect to materials used for the construction of walls, cement bricks/blocks, mud and poles as well as mud blocks predominate in the country. Close to 63 per cent of households live in dwellings with walls made of cement bricks/blocks, while 23 per cent reside in dwellings with walls made of mud and poles and about seven per cent reside in dwellings made of mud blocks," reads the report.
As is to be expected, the majority of the houses found in urban areas are made of cement blocks or bricks (69 per cent) and "mud and poles contribute 16 per cent."
Indications are that Swazis are striving for better housing as 61 per cent of dwellings in rural areas are constructed of cement blocks or bricks and mud and poles contribute 25 per cent. Walls constructed from cement blocks/ bricks are mostly common in the Manzini and Lubombo regions. Dwellings with walls constructed from mud and poles are mostly common in Hhohho and Shiselweni, 27 and 37 per cent respectively," adds the report.