Malawi - Housing

Government-built houses are either rented or sold. The Malawi Housing Corp. has also developed housing plots in order to relocate urban squatters. According to 1998 census figures, about 86% of the population lived in rural areas. Nearly 65% of the population lived in traditional housing, defined as a dwelling with mud walls and a thatched roof. About 16% lived in permanent structures, which were made with concrete, stone, or burnt brick walls and iron sheet, conrete, or asbestos roofs. About 18% lived in semi-permanent dwellings built with a combination of concrete, stone, mud brick and thatch. Most dwellings have two or three rooms and the average household size is 4.3 people. At least 86% of dwellings are owner occupied. Only about 2.5% of residences have access to indoor piped water. Most drinking water is taken from boreholes, unprotected wells, and/or rivers and streams. About 74% of the population (both urban and rural) use pit latrines. About 22% have no toilets at all. Only 4.9% of the population has access to electricity. Wood is typically used for cooking fuel and parrafin is used for lighting.

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