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CHF is partnering with the Evangelical Social Action Forum (ESAF), a local NGO, to mobilize communities to participate in on-site slum upgrading housing projects that qualify for financial support from the central government under JnNURM. The projects are formulated to help the City of Nagpur institute reforms within basic services to the urban poor.
CHF and ESAF, in partnership with the local government, Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC), prepared project proposals for five slum communities in Nagpur. This was a collaborative effort between the community and the NMC to ensure that there was sufficient community buy-in and an implementation strategy that included strong institutional support from the municipality. CHF/ESAF’s effort enabled Nagpur Municipal Corporation to secure about $14.7 million for the implementation of slum redevelopment and housing for over 1430 households. As part of the proposal development process, CHF and ESAF established community mobilization and outreach programs to ensure that the final outcomes were had community support and could proceed without delays.
ESAF, with technical support from CHF, developed guidelines for setting up groups within each slum community. These collective structures will subsequently become self-help groups which will be the basis of setting up a credit product that ensures household contributions are collected. Financial arrangements are brokered by the local government with tripartite arrangements between ESAF and commercial banks. CHF/ESAF ensured participation of local slum community leaders to make sure that there was transparency in establishing slum boundaries, ownership of land parcels, and verifying socio-economic data of slum residents.
CHF and ESAF are also helping the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) develop a city-wide slum upgrading strategy. This strategy identifies slum typologies across the city, options for upgrading them, and finally a strategy for prioritizing, financing and managing the implementation of projects. In addition, CHF is helping develop the capacity the local government to follow protocols for community engagement and the issuance of biometric identification cards to beneficiaries. ESAF has established a strong relationship with the local government by demonstrating their ability to engage the community from project inception throughout the project implementation cycle, including the complicated tasks of transferring households to transit locations and finally allocating the new units.
In June of 2009, CHF initiated a second project with ESAF and Thrive. Thrive is an acclaimed non-profit organization that provides low cost solar lighting technology. This new initiative is aimed at providing renewable energy solutions by introducing solar powered lanterns to slum communities and street vendors that do not have access to electricity from the city’s power grid. These lanterns have enabled street vendors to increase their income by allowing them to operate after sunset and eliminating their regular expenses on non-renewable fuels. Similarly, these lighting solutions have enhanced the quality of life for slum residents after dark by providing an alternative to polluting, hazardous kerosene lanterns and eliminating their typical fuel expenses. ESAF has provided financing options for individuals and households. So far, 316 families have made use of this solar technology, and 20 Beneficiary Groups are making weekly collections as needed.