Government to continue with urban development process
Lusaka, May 8, ZANIS ——— Government has reaffirmed its commitment to providing leadership in the formulation of the National Urban Policy Framework for Zambia and the Lusaka City extension programme.
Local Government and Housing Deputy Minister Nicholas Banda noted that the formulation of a National Urban Policy and the Lusaka City growth programme will result in development of better future cities and town from which appropriate programmes, projects and strategies can be developed.
Mr Banda was speaking during the official closure of the two-day conference on the formulation of the National Urban Policy Framework for Zambia and the Lusaka City extension programme in Lusaka today.
Mr Banda noted that the rapid urbanization process has caught most countries including Zambia unaware saying the situation has resulted in difficulties to meet the basic requirements of sustainable urban development.
The Deputy Minister stated that many countries including Zambia are struggling to meet the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) which are aimed at reducing poverty and promoting social economic development mainly because they lack urban development policies and programmes.
The Deputy Minister has since directed officers in his ministry to draw up a clear road map towards the development of a National Urban Policy and the development of the city of Lusaka as a basis for monitoring the progress.
He said government will not abandon the process as the first practical step has already been taken which he described as a successful one.
And United Nations Habitat Regional Director for Africa Auximite Gebre-Egziabher said his organization will continue to facilitate and offer technical support to the Zambian government in order to ensure that the process succeeds.
Dr Gebre-Egziabher said Zambia has shown determination and commitment to formulating
its own clear urban development policy framework which she said was good for the country.
Today delegates at the conference discussed on how Lusaka can be extended to accommodate the ever growing population.
Some delegates suggested that the city of Lusaka can only expand vertically and not beyond its border as it is surrounded by other districts that are also expanding.
They noted that to ensure that the city expand vertically, there is need for the city to embark on storey buildings so that the scarce land can be fully utilized while slams be demolished in order to allow for the construction of well planned storey buildings that will be fully services and cater for many people.
Debate tightened on how the poor residents in the slams will afford to live in expensive storey buildings when they are currently struggling to afford simple houses.