Monday, 28 September 2015

BUILD US DECENT HOUSES- GOVERNMENT TOLD

By MacPherson Mukuka



Zambia continues to face a challenge in housing units, with a growing demand for houses, the current 3Million housing deficit is likely to double by the year 2030 where the population is projected to shoot to about 23 Million people.

Realizing this status quo, government has thought of revising the 1996 National Housing policy and devise ways on how it will address the challenge.

The traditional leaders who are the custodians of some land in their respective chiefdoms have been engaged in a two day consultative workshop at which the housing deficit and improvement of settlements among others will be discussed.

Speaking during the opening of the workshop, House of chiefs – Chief Whip, Chief Chipepo of Chirundu District of Lusaka Province, called on government to look into the traditional leadership welfare vis-a-vie their accommodation and that of the people in rural areas.

Chief Chipepo noted that Villages have not developed much due to the fact that those who have left their villages for greener pastures don’t want to return to their villages to take development.

The Chief Whip has cited Nigeria as one of the countries whose Villages have benefited from natives because of the value the place back home.

He said if Zambians can develop such a culture of giving back to their villages by way of developing infrastructure such as houses.

And in responding to the call, Local Government and housing Minister John Phiri said it is unfortunate that 50 years after independence, traditional leaders are still living in huts.

He said Chiefs are custodians of many people and therefore deserve decent shelter.

Dr. Phiri in his speech indicated that government remains committed to bettering the lives of people in rural areas through the provision on decent housing and sanitation.

The Minister further indicated that Government has embarked on a robust development programme of building houses in the newly created district to cushion the housing deficit the country is facing.

And speaking earlier, Lusaka Mayor George Nyendwa said Local authorities have not been able to fulfill their functions especially on land allocations due to a shortage of funds, which restrict the city to invest in low cost housing.

Urbanization has greatly affected the distribution of wealth in Zambia; this is because the majority of people living in major cities such as Lusaka prefer building more houses in town to doing so in their respective Villages.

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