Plot consolidation in sites and services projects: a case study of Bauchi project

Ahmed, Rukaiyatu Usman (1995) Plot consolidation in sites and services projects: a case study of Bauchi project. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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This study sets out to find the reasons why the level of consolidation by the target beneficiaries of the World Bank assisted Sites and Services project in Makama Bauchi was low. The World Bank assisted Sites and Services strategy is one of the more recent public sector solutions to the low income housing problems adopted by many countries of the Developing World in the last two decades. The World Bank assisted Projects normally take two approaches: (1) Sites and Services where land is provided with physical infrastructure (e.g. roads, electricity and water supply) and community facilities (e.g. schools, health clinics), and divided into individual plots and allocated to specified target groups who are expected to build their houses through self-help, and live in them. (2) Settlement Upgrading where physical infrastructure is provided in an already existing settlement and land ownership are legalised where they were illegal, improvements of individual dwellings is expected to follow. With both approaches, the guiding principles are those of affordability, cost recovery and replicability.

The Nigerian Government had adopted this strategy since the late seventies. Two pilot projects have so far been planned and executed. One in Bauchi Town (Bauchi state) and the other in Imo (Owerri state). The Bauchi project, which is the more mature of the two projects, was chosen as a case study in this research. The focus of this study is on the Sites and Services component whose major objective was to ensure house ownership by low income groups through this strategy thereby increasing substantially the housing stock for these groups.

In the Bauchi Sites and Services project, 80% of the plots were to be allocated to the low income group who qualified by reason as the criteria laid down, while the remaining 20% went to a higher income group. The plot allottees were expected to consolidate their plots by building a completed basic unit within two years of allocation. A minimum basic unit of two rooms and a parlour built with a combination of imported and local, but permanent, building materials was required in the first instance and expansion could take place when and if resources were available.

However evidence of what actually happened in the project, revealed in the progress report, tells a different story. Though it was reported that by 1987, when this project was declared completed, nearly all demarcated plots were allocated to prospective beneficiaries, an assessment of the consolidation showed the level to be lower than expected. Furthermore a survey of the completed houses revealed that those owned by the target lower income beneficiaries were smaller in number than those owned by a higher income non-target group despite the initial plot allocation being the other way round. This means the level of plot consolidation by the original target group is lower than expected. This study will therefore attempt to find the reasons Why the level of plot consolidation by the target allottees was lower than expected. In order to find the reasons, some hypotheses were put forward and tested. The key hypothesis is that the problem is caused by the inaccurate estimates and assumptions made by the project planners regarding the housing affordability, needs and preferences of the target beneficiaries of the project.

To get the required information to test this hypothesis, a field survey was conducted between December 1991 and May 1992. The data were analysed using the SPSS/PC+/ (Statistical Package for Social Sciences). The results of the data analysis showed that there is a mismatch between the cost of building according to the standards required by the project and what the target beneficiaries could afford. This mismatch was attributed to the project's requirement to use high priced building materials, cost of hired labour which it had been assumed would be free, the absence of assumed savings and non-project borrowing sources to supplement project loan .. Another factor revealed by the analysis was the mismatch between the size of the recommended basic unit and that which the beneficiaries require. The number of rooms in the recommended basic unit was far short of beneficiaries requirements. As a result, many target plot allottees either did not consolidate or could not finish the houses they started. Hence consolidation remains low in the project. Also further analysis has shown that the target beneficiaries who have not consolidated are worse off in terms of their current housing situations. This situation will remain the same indefinitely unless some measures are taken to revert it.

It is therefore hoped that the findings of this study, and the suggestions made based on the findings, will contribute towards a permanent solution to this problem in the Mak~a project and in similar projects in Nigeria and elsewhere in the Developing World.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: xx, xx
Keywords: Housing, Nigeria; Housing, economic aspects
Subjects: H Social sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Engineering > Built Environment
Item ID: 59595
Depositing User: Airey, Ms Valerie
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2019 10:58
Last Modified: 06 May 2020 12:33

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