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close this bookTraining Human Settlement Workers in Eastern & Southern Africa (AFSC - Mazingira Institute, 1981)
close this folderThe settlements situation
View the documentAngola
View the documentBotswana
View the documentKenya
View the documentLesotho
View the documentMozambique
View the documentSudan
View the documentTanzania
View the documentZambia
View the documentZimbabwe


The National Housing Agency, NHA, is the Parastatal organization responsible for housing policy and implementation including squatter upgrading. Lusaka City Council has been carrying out site and service projects on a large scale since 1963, and adopted the policy of squatter upgrading in 1972. With 38% of its population living in urban areas and a population of 690,000 in the capital city Lusaka, Zambia has a different scale of problem from such small and less urbanized countries as Botswana and Lesotho. Although the size of its total population, and the size of its largest city, are smaller than in countries such as Kenya, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, nevertheless Zambia provides a useful example of what can be accomplished with a large and rapidly growing urban population by using the self-help approach. In this sense it provided an ideal location for the Workshop.

Large numbers of people in Lusaka, though by no means all who need it, are provided with some access to roads, pit latrines, water standpipes, and other services. Improvements in these areas are proceeding, with demand for individual water connections increasing while there is room in the layout for sewers where they are not yet provided. This enables a city with limited employment opportunities to provide for the eventual even distribution of urban services without penalizing those who cannot afford them immediately. Of Particular interest is the history of community organization and participation in the generation and implementation of self-help schemes. Zambia's single party, UNIP, is based on a 25-house unit at the smallest scale, and this is used for the provision of infrastructure. The party is also active at branch and ward levels in organizing pressure for provision of services, participation in planning, provision of training and other activities.

The Housing Project Unit to administer self-help housing projects in Lusaka was formed in 1974 in conjunction with a World Bank-funded project to assist 29,000 households through serviced sites or squatter upgrading. In 1981, the functions of HPU were taken over by the Periurban Section of Lusaka District Council under the reorganization of local government in Zambia. Documentation of self-help housing in Zambia is managed by a research unit in the Institute of African Studies, University of Zambia. Training of staff to administer self-help housing is carried out on the job. Lusaka is particularly fortunate in having a large force of community development workers to facilitate implementation. Early efforts to train community development workers and mobilize community action were helped by the American Friends Service Committee in _Lusaka who also participated in the Workshop. AFSC also has employment generation and training projects in low income housing areas. Other projects for skills training are assisted by other nongovernmental agencies and managed through the local authority and the party. One of these forms the subject of a Training Case Study: the Dzithandizeni Trades School, which was developed by local initiative within Garden Compound, a typically active community with a successful history of self-help through both conflict and cooperation with the housing authorities.