Government has expressed concern at the current state of affairs in terms of urban growth which poses a myriad of risks which need to be addressed.
Speaking during the official opening of the National Urban Policy Planning workshop in Chilanga today, Local Government and Housing Minister Emmanuel Chenda says about 70 percent of the urban population in Zambia reside in unplanned urban settlements, which lack proper access to basic social, physical and economic amenities.
Mr. Chenda notes that there is a distinct development gap between different regions of the country, between urban and rural areas, and planned and unplanned areas, with many of these areas lagging way behind in terms of sustainable development.
Mr. Chenda says there is an urgent to ensure that population growth is managed in a way that will maximize the economic potential of the regions, while ensuring the sustainable provision of infrastructure and other basic social amenities.
He has also noted the need to have regulatory frameworks to avoid the uncontrolled proliferation of informal settlements in the near future.
Mr. Chenda, in a speech read on his behalf by his Deputy Nicolas Banda, adds that the National Urban Policy can help guide urban development by promoting principles of good urbanism that support poverty reduction, spatial planning and land management, housing, basic and social services, infrastructure development, coordination of large-scale investments among other social issues.
Speaking at the same event, Ministry of Local Government and Housing Acting Director, Department of Physical Planning and Housing, Numeral Banda, says most urban areas have been facing almost the same challenges such as traffic on the roads.
Mr. Banda says it is for this reason that the country comes up with a roadmap that will guide urban planning.
And outlining the importance of National Urban Policy, UN – Habitat Representative Alexander Chileshe says the projection by the Central Statistical Office that Lusaka’s population will double by 2030 is a wakeup call to effectively plan well for the development of the urban areas.
( Thursday 02nd October 2014 )