UN-Habitat announces Scroll of Honour Winners


UN-Habitat is pleased to announce the 2012 Habitat Scroll of Honour Awards to the following recipients. This is the most prestigious award by the United Nations in recognition for work carried out in the field of human settlements development. The aim of the award is to honour individuals and institutions instrumental in improving the living conditions in urban centres around the world.
Mr. Muchadeyi Ashton Masunda, Mayor of Harare, is personally awarded the 2012 UN-Habitat Scroll of Honour for his many years of charismatic leadership and courageous promotion of ethical governance in a city stressed by socio-economic, political and service delivery problems.
A lawyer by profession who earlier served as the “unofficial” mayor of the second city Bulawayo, Mr. Masunda pays special attention to the needs of the poor. He is widely recognised at home and abroad for creating an inclusive city governance environment. He considers the an asset in directly rebuilding their lives in the wake of the 2005 government evictions which drove an estimated 700,000 poor people from their homes in the country‟s main cities. A non-executive mayor who refuses to join a political party, Mr. Masunda has been in office since 2008.
The São Paulo Slum Upgrading Programme of the Municipal Housing Secretariat (SEHAB) is awarded for implementing one of the largest slum upgrading drives in Brazil.
The huge metropolis is home to some 800,000 people living in an estimated 2,000 favelas (unplanned informal settlements) where many are without clean water supplies, electricity, access to decent housing, health care or education. The programme works with a range of local, national and international institutions and other partners. It has had a major impact in uplifting and integrating the poorest, helping turn São Paulo into a more inclusive city for its citizens. In the years 2005 – 2012 the SEHAB programme has benefited more than 40,000 families in 41 city districts. Plans are underway to extended it to assist a further 134,000 families.
The Special Council Support Fund for Mutual Assistance, known as FEICOM, is awarded for playing a key role at the local level in helping municipalities throughout Cameroon achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
For more than 30 years, FEICOM (Fonds Spécial d‟Equipement et d‟Intervention Intercommunal) has acted as a bank for local councils, helping ensure they are funded, staff trained, promoting a coherent local development approach and sharing best practices. In actions now being replicated in neighbouring countries, FEICOM has helped build capacity at local councils providing training, and offering many courses on local economic development and decentralisation. Working with universities, UN-Habitat, the African Development Bank and other international and local institutions, FEICOM has established a set of strategic partnerships. By the year 2020 it aims to have councils provide 40,000 clean water outlets serving half a million people. It is also building more classrooms around the country aiming to increase access to education, especially for girls. Health facilities for half a million people are also planned for 18 municipalities, thanks to FEICOM assistance, funding and expertise.
The County of Anji is awarded for turning Anji city and its environs into one of the world’s greenest cities.
Located in the Yangtze River Delta in Zhejiang Province, Anji is an ancient city home to nearly half a million people. As part of a strategy to turn the area into an “ecological county” a campaign started at the new Millennium has brought tremendous change, attracted new wealth, and improved the standard of living. Anji today boasts one of China‟s lowest crime rates, some of the best air quality and lowest per capita energy consumption. Today, every new building is topped by a solar power unit to reduce electricity costs, with green spaces and park lands in the city and its surrounding bamboo forest lands protected by new legislation. All urban development and transport systems are subject to improved urban planning based on sustainability. Anji is today a global leader in bamboo production and technology. The improvements, brought about through many national and international partnerships with institutions and people from around China and the world, have already earned the country and the city many awards. The Anji experience is now being shared with many developing countries and others seeking a greener way of life.
Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, Governor of Ondo State, Nigeria, is personally awarded the 2012 UN-Habitat Scroll of Honour for his drive to reduce urban poverty and make Ondo the best-run State in the country.
A medical doctor by profession and consummate politician, Dr. Mimiko has been at the frontline of grassroots politics and development in Nigeria for more than three decades. He twice served as Commissioner for Health and Secretary to the Ondo State Government and later as Federal Minister of Housing and Urban Development (2005-2007). He developed the „CARING HEART‟12-point urban development agenda, to make Ondo‟s towns and cities better places to work, live and relax. His action plan combines the physical improvement of the environment with economic empowerment and social transformation.