Friday, November 09, 2007

Govt releases K3bn for squatter compounds

Govt releases K3bn for squatter compounds
By Nomusa Michelo
Friday November 09, 2007 [03:00]

LOCAL government and housing deputy minister Eustarkio Kazonga has said the government has released K3 billion for the upgrading of squatter compounds around the country. And Town Planners Association of Zambia president Simeo Siame has said there is need for strong political will from the government to upgrade squatter compounds.

Responding to a supplementary question from Lukulu East member of parliament Batuke Imenda who wanted to know when the government would release funds meant to upgrade squatter compounds in Lukulu boma following an overall survey of the township, Kazonga said the upgrading exercise is not only restricted Lukulu East but is for the whole country.

He said various local authorities have been included in the plan to upgrade squatter compounds.
The local authorities include Lusaka, Livingstone, Kitwe and Ndola city councils and Solwezi, Mongu, Kabwe, Mansa, Kasama , Chipata and Choma municipal councils.
Kazonga said the government has budgeted K5 billion for the upgrading of squatter compounds and had so far released K3 billion.

And commenting on government release of K3 billion for the upgrade of squatter compounds around the country, Siame said government should have a clear plan on how to implement the upgrading of squatter compounds.

He said it should not just be a question of releasing money, but there is need for a clear phased plan of implementation.
“Squatter compounds can be rectified, but it depends on the decision by government. It needs strong political will,” he said.
Siame also said there is need to do a socialisation study of squatter compounds as well as find alternative living areas for the people who may need to be relocated from the squatter compounds.
“We need to make sure we reduce the stress of the people who are moving,” he said.

Simeo also said the government needs to compensate the people who will be relocated from squatter areas because they have built structures.



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