The growth and development of unauthorized settlements: A case study of Nkwazi, Ndola

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Phiri, Ngoza
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A lot of research has been conducted in the Third World countries on the urban poor communities especially in unauthorized settlements. Regional disparities between rural and urban areas in the distribution of resources and low agricultural production in the rural areas, especially in African countries, has forced people to move to urban areas. The concentration of people in urban areas coupled with the deterioration of economies and councils inability to provide cheap accommodation for the low income group has significantly contributed to the mushrooming of unauthorized settlements. This research, therefore, focuses on investigating and examining the growth and development of unauthorized settlements in Zambia with specific reference to Nkwazi, in Ndola. The main areas of interest being the socio-economic characteristics of Nkwazi residents, the type of housing, social problems in the area, and official council policies. The findings revealed that Nkwazi residents originated from within Ndola. Households are intact composed of existing city dwellers who recognize certain advantages from relocating into such areas. The majority of these households are headed by men, in their youthful age group with low educational qualifications, no or very little vocational training, and consequently are low income earners. The study also reveals that the houses in Nkwazi are poorly built and that although some services such as piped water are provided, these are not adequate. The settlement lacks some essential basic social facilities such as street lighting, a clinic, garbage collection facilities, and sewerage disposal. The study further reveals that the Ndola Urban city council has embarked on a serious upgrading program in conjunction with the World Food Program (WFP), the Holy Family, Rotary clubs, European Economic Community and the Sacred Sisters. The aim of the upgrading program is to improve the living standards of the people of Nkwazi. This study should be viewed in the context of supplementing the little existing information on unauthorized settlements in Ndola. Especially that it comes at a time when the government through local councils has embarked on vigorous upgrading through community participation. It is, therefore, hoped that this study will act as a stepping stone for policy makers and planners to identify the potential areas for upgrading to improve the standard of life of the low income group.
Settlement-Zambia , Ndola-Zambia