President Hakainde Hichilema has affirmed the government’s dedication to addressing the challenges posed by unplanned settlements in the country. Speaking at the 8th Zambia Institute of Planners Conference held in Livingstone, President Hichilema highlighted the need for improved service delivery and infrastructure development in these areas.
President Hichilema acknowledged the difficulties in accessing certain settlements due to their unplanned nature, hindering the delivery of essential services such as proper roads and drainage systems. In response to this issue, he revealed that the government will be initiating conversations with residents of these settlements, exploring the possibility of relocation while providing compensation. This move aims to create an environment conducive to the establishment of crucial services within these townships.
“Our commitment is clear: we recognize the importance of planned settlements in facilitating effective and efficient service delivery to our citizens. We understand the challenges posed by unplanned settlements, and we are determined to work collaboratively with residents to address these issues,” President Hichilema stated.
However, President Hichilema also cautioned local authorities against allowing the creation of new unplanned settlements, emphasizing the importance of comprehensive urban planning in ensuring sustainable development and efficient service provision.
Addressing the same conference earlier, Gary Nkombo, the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, commended President Hichilema’s recent pronouncement on street vending. Nkombo expressed that the President’s statement has empowered local authorities to independently drive development initiatives and cater to the needs of the Zambian population.
Finance Minister Situmbebo Musokotwane also addressed the conference, urging urban planners, particularly those within local councils, to adopt positive attitudes and facilitate a conducive environment for investment. He emphasized that a collaborative approach is essential to ensuring that investors are encouraged to participate in Zambia’s development efforts.
Busiku Sulwe, President of the Zambia Institute of Planners, called upon the government to grant local authorities the final approval authority for Constituency Development Fund (CDF) projects. This move, Sulwe asserted, would expedite service delivery and empower local governments to efficiently allocate resources and address community needs.