GIS based integrated District land use planning process: A case study of Mpika

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Ng'onga, Francis Kangwa
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Land use planning in Zambia is currently riddled with the problems of being cumbersome, unsatisfactory, unbalanced and fragmented. The study revealed that the above scenario, may be attributed to among other reasons, the inappropriate and often out dated land use planning process tools currently in use, whilst current planning methods are cumbersome and time consuming. On the other hand, “the planning system consists of various actors with varying functional authority relating to or affecting spatial planning.” (MLGH.2008, P.3). These players are normally “guided by overlapping and conflicting legislation.”(MLGH.2008, P.14). Planning for the study area is in turn done by the Northern Province Planning Authority, which delays decision making. In a nutshell, “plan making in Zambia is currently ad hoc, piece meal, compartmentalized and demand driven, and not based on critical analysis of the over-all spatial development process.” (MLGH. 2008, P.11).This research project therefore explores how introduction of GIS and remote sensing technologies may help improve land use planning process. A model was developed illustrating proposed role of GIS in the planning process. Time factor, coupled with inadequate financial resources and lack of GIS equipment at the Mpika District Council however impacted negatively on sample size, and testing of the proposed model. Instead, partial testing was only done through inspecting on screen and printed copy of a land use map, as a product of the design in ArcView 3.2a.In view of the foregoing, clear guidelines and policy changes are therefore required to facilitate entry of a GIS based integrated approach to district land use planning. This consequently calls for massive investment in district capacity building. With GIS application, integrated district land use planning process is not only feasible but attainable. It is envisaged that if proved successful, the results of this study would then be replicated and the experiences shared with other local authorities in Zambia.
Geographical Information System , Land use planning