PRISCILLA MWILA, Lusaka
GOVERNMENT has come up with a strategy to reduce unregulated urbanisation by developing rural areas through its robust infrastructure development programme.
Minister of Local Government Vincent Mwale said the unregulated urban growth has resulted in the mushrooming of informal settlements which are prone to poor sanitation, crime, pollution and high poverty levels.
Mr Mwale said that the introduction of the policy will ensure that a more functional national urban system, which will contribute to rural development and transformation, is developed.
The minister was speaking when he officiated at the national urbanisation policy meeting yesterday.
“Zambia has been affected by rapid urbanisation which is estimated at about 40 percent of the total population and projected to increase to 60 percent by 2050. The situation will pose more challenges in housing provision and provision of basic services if nothing is done about it in good time,” he said.
Mr Mwale said Zambia has never developed a comprehensive policy to guide settlement development since independence to minimise rural urban migration.
He said the new planning law will enable various stakeholders to manage human settlements and avoid future environmental disaster such as formulated rapid population and physical growth.
And Ministry of Development Planning permanent secretary Auxilia Ponga said there is need to separate industries from residential areas to protect the health of the people.
Dr Ponga said lack of planning results in people settling in undesignated areas, which hampers expansion and development.
She added that the current flow of traffic hinders business and economic activities as more time is spent on the road.
Dr Ponga said the ministry is putting in place measures to ensure that rural areas become economic hubs which can be used to produce various goods and services and hence job creation.