Local Government and Housing Minister Emmanuel Chenda says there is urgent need to come up with a policy and regulatory frameworks that would avoid the mushrooming of informal settlement in the country.
Mr. Chenda noted that the majority of the urban population in Zambia resides in unplanned settlements which lack proper access to basic amenities.
He said there is a distinct development gap between urban and rural areas with many of them lagging behind in sustainable development.
Mr. Chenda said this in a speech read for him by his deputy, Nicholas Banda during the official opening of the National Urban Planning (NUP) workshop held in Chilanga district today.
The two-day workshop is aimed at considering what should be included in Zambia’s inaugural NUP as there has been a rapid growth in urban population since Independence.
Mr. Chenda said the NUP should not be seen as an anti-rural policy but as one that recognises the functional importance of towns and cities focusing on harnessing the link of both urban and rural areas.
And United Nations Habitat Alexander Chileshe said urbanisation deters development in any nation as it leads to overcrowding.
Mr. Chileshe further stated that the NUP will lead to practical efforts aimed at solving the problem.