70% Zambian urban dwellers live in slums

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Government has revealed that the shortage of housing units in Zambia has led to the development of slums that accommodate approximately 70 percent of urban dwellers.

The shortage of housing units is said to have been caused by rapid urban population growth.

Ministry of Local Government and Housing Permanent Secretary Stanford Musichili disclosed that the country was facing a critical shortage of housing units totalling to about three million.

Mr. Musichili noted that the growth of the construction sector has not been in tandem with the population growth thereby creating a backlog of housing units that have led to the development of slums.

He further revealed that currently, Zambia has about 70 percent of its population living in slums out of which 40 percent was made up of women and children.

Mr. Musichili was speaking in Lusaka today during the consultative meeting to validate the national habitat III report which was attended by stakeholders from National Housing Authority, Lusaka City Council, water utility companies and civil society organisations among others.

He said it was estimated that 60 percent of Zambia’s population will live in urban areas by 2050. This is expected to further push the housing shortage if not addressed urgently.

Mr. Musichili has since urged participants of the meeting to adopt a comprehensive approach that will not only envisage better future but also focus on ensuring adequate legislative frameworks, housing finance and decent housing.

The consultative meeting, which opened today, is expected to close tomorrow, March 17, 2015.