Exploring areas of conflicts & potential resolutions between the state and the community in unplanned settlements in Zambia: a study of Kanyama compound in Lusaka district.
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This study explored areas of conflicts and potential resolutions between the state and the community in unplanned settlements of Lusaka’s Kanyama Compound in Zambia. The study was guided by four objectives which were aimed at: describing human needs which create conflict between the community and the State; examining the forms of conflicts as experienced by residents of Kanyama as they interact with the state; explore from the lived experienced of Kanyama residents the causes/triggers of conflicts between the state and residents of Kanyama compound? and;to develop ideal conflict resolution/management strategies for the conflicts experienced in Kanyama compound The study was qualitative in nature and used a case study design. The methods used to collect data from the field in this study were semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions. Thirty four participants were purposively selected in this study using expert and availability sampling and data was analysed using thematic analysis. The findings were that people of Kanyama Compound have needs and these included Basic Social Amenities (food, water, shelter, sanitation, health and education) and Security Needs (stability, protection, law and order, and employment)which were needed most by the residents. The triggers and underlying causes of social conflict between the state and the community in Kanyama Compound were rather complex. However circumstances and contexts leading to social conflicts tend to vary greatly, and differ in terms of specific community issues. Conflicts were either internally motivated, arising when the community that felt that their human needs were not met by the state or when they were threatened from among members of the community or when there were underlying social issues within the community. Conflicts were externally motivated when the state moved into the community to perform statutory roles and the community reacted to such moves. The sources of conflict originated mainly from state led action as well as differences in ideologies while political issues had the least issues triggering conflicts. The study concludes that though the residents of Kanyama Compound may have survival issues that are more salient linked to deficiency needs than process needs, the state has a role to play in meeting their needs. If communities in unplanned settlements are discriminated against because of breaching the law and that nothing should be done relating to their needs, it will also affect the level of social conflict. In academia, this has ramifications for a wealth of conflict research. For Kanyama Compound, it is recommended that the strategies to resolve/mitigate or manage conflict should involve strategic responses summedup as Communication, Education , sensitization, political, identification of root causes of conflicts as well as access and distribution of scarce resources.
The University of Zambia