By JOHN SAKALA
Luanshya Municipal Council has started the process of upgrading informal settlement areas in the District.
The upgrading of informal settlement areas is aimed at promoting local development and supplementing Government’s efforts aimed at empowering less privileged Zambians owning pieces of and through the National Titling Program.
A full Council meeting which was recently held under minute number LMC/C/134/06/18 and Chaired by Mayor Nathan Bwalya at the Civic Centre in Luanshya approved a proposal to carry out the Mapping Project in five settlement areas.
The mayor also directed the Town Clerk and management to further sought approval from the Ministry of Local Government before engaging Medeem Zambia to kick starting the project.
The Council has identified Misaka, Fisenge, Twashuka, Buntungwa and Kamuchanga settlement areas to pilot the upgrading of the informal settlement areas project which is expected to cover the entire District in collaboration with all key stakeholders in the District.
Mr Bwalya said the district mapping exercise was an important initiative because it would provide residents in various categories of lands with occupancy licenses valid for thirty ( 30) years, which at the same time shall serve as collateral while a fee of seventy-five (K75.00) would be required as registration fee to the Council.
“For the production of survey documents (site plans) residents will be required to pay a small fee for each parcel and to the local authority for the generation of occupancy licence for a single parcel,’’ the Mayor said.
He explained that the council shall use recent generated data or statistics from this project to make informed decisions that would help develop each community.
According to the Mayor extra benefits of upgrading informal settlement areas to council will include; ability to collect rates and fees, effective planning and layout of settlement areas, Bio and Geo data of population and house numbering and attract investors among others.
Individuals and organisations who own residential plots, places of worships, poultry farms, shops and schools are expected to be empowered with site plans and occupancy licenses as part of the National Titling program.
Once the project becomes operational before the end of this year Medeem Zambia is expected to start the mapping of all the five informal settlement areas, an initiative which is aimed at benefiting the community.
Medeem Zambia is a social enterprise, whose mission is to provide land tenure documentation and secure land rights for the less privileged in society.
This is according to a media statement made available to The Independent Observer by Luanshya Council Assistant Public Relations Manager Gideon Thole.