Ministry moots procedures to control urban squatter growth

14Jan 2020
The Guardian
Ministry moots procedures to control urban squatter growth

LANDS, Housing and Human Settlement Development ministry in partnership with city, municipal and district councils countrywide has prepared procedures to control the development of squatters in the various areas and instead plan for better land use.

Mbeya Regional Commissioner Albert Chalamila

Paulo Kitosi, an expert in urban planning at the ministry made this observation at a meeting to go through the first draft of the Mbeya City Master Plan.

He said the government has decided to embark on the procedure after realizing that many towns grow without proper planning for human settlements and other activities.

Kitosi said apart from the ministry liaising with councils, it will also collaborate with other development stakeholders to be called to give their views on planning urban areas.

“The procedure will allot areas for human settlements, social services such as schools and health centres and commercial areas, as this will assist our urban areas to grow with proper planning,” he explained.

The new procedures will also assist in reducing land conflicts in urban areas due to human settlements intermingling with other social activities, especially invasion of open areas, he stated.

Willy Kitorika from Urban Solutions Ltd - contracted to prepare the Mbeya City master plan – when tabling the first draft of the plan urged the government to liaise with local residents to educate them on the importance of their land.

Among things that urban area residents need to be educated on is that whenever they want to develop their land they must abide by the laws of the country including possession of title deed of areas they want to develop, and other government permits.

Acting Mbeya City Director Gerald Luzika said the implementation of the master plan will go in tandem with other plans that were set out in accordance with the laws.

Some of the plans include types of buildings to be erected in various areas of the city as well as protection of the existing infrastructures including roads and water conduits, he pointed out.

Closing the meeting, Mbeya Regional Commissioner Albert Chalamila said that going against the master plan implies the continuation of destruction of the city landscape. Political leaders in the city need to be at the forefront to protect the plan, he added.