Case Examples

Country Assessments: Africa

Burkina Faso | Cameroon | Cote D’Ivoire | Ghana | Mali | Namibia | Senegal | Swaziland | Tanzania | Zambia
Information Source: Zambia: Country Assessment Report.
The World Bank, AFTU 1 & 2. January 2002.
Zambia Map Location Photo - Zambia

Context Summary

Zambia is approximately 753,000 square kilometers and a population of about 10 million, for a density of 13 persons per square kilometer. Most of Zambia is high plateau with a flat or gently undulating terrain.

It is one of the most industrialized countries in Africa, renowned for its copper ore resources, which are processed in the country and whose export made Zambia relatively rich during the 1960s and early 1970s. Nationalization of the copper mines, years of under-investment in the mines, inexperienced management, and a fall in the world price of copper led to an economic decline beginning in the mid-1970s. Extensive borrowing has made Zambia one of the most highly indebted nations in the world relative to national output and exports. The country remains impoverished, with a per capita GDP of approximately US$410.

Over 40 percent are estimated to live in urban areas. Its capital and largest city is Lusaka, with a population of almost 1.3 million, at densities of up to 1,500 persons per hectare and an average population density of approximately 150 persons per hectare. About 70 percent of Lusaka’s population live in poor, unplanned settlements comprising 20 percent of the city’s residential land. Poverty and HIV/AIDS have led to decreased urban growth rates in recent years of between 5 and 6 percent.

During the copper boom that followed the country’s independence, Zambia’s cities developed quickly and spatially inefficient. Before Independence, towns were not intended to be permanent homes for the majority of the country’s workers; thus, legal tenure and the provision of housing and amenities for informal residents were not priorities. With prosperity and rapid urbanization, the republic’s new government installed sophisticated and costly urban infrastructure, confident that copper export earnings would provide for its support and maintenance. Collapse of the economy soon left the infrastructure dilapidated.

The years of central planning created the development of a culture of dependence on the state and the top-down provision of services, which has resulted in citizens not expecting or wanting to pay for services enjoyed and consumed. Poverty and the lack of a sustainable housing policy have led to urban growth being absorbed into informal settlements. Many do not have the ability to pay for the level of service offered. Housing is not affordable and authorities have few resources with which to improve or maintain infrastructure and services.

Lessons from Recent Projects - Summary

This section summarizes the lessons by specific project.

Lusaka Squatter Upgrading and Sites and Services Project

  • Delivery of public services was of limited success: service levels not based on what residents wanted; technical norms often unrealistically high; community organizations were expected to operate and maintain facilities although they were not consulted during the planning and implementation process; and cost recovery measures had no sanctions to deal with defaulters.
  • Granting of land title stimulated economic development in area.
  • Allocation of plots through the local authority system was subject to local political interference.
  • Service levels/standards need to be based on what residents actually want, not on what others think they want.
  • Technically norms should not be unrealistically high.
  • Community organizations should not be expected to operate and maintain facilities where they have not been involved in the planning and implementation process.
  • Where cost recovery measures exist, there also have to be sanctions for non-payment of dues.

PUSH Project

  • Top-down approaches are not well received by communities and lead to simple sectorial interventions based on high priority network service needs over community needs.

George Compound Water Scheme (JICA)

  • Communities should be involved in the development process from the outset and time should be taken to elicit standards/service levels that communities actually want and are willing to pay for.
  • People have strong views about the level of service that they want.
  • Very high investment costs (US$300 per capita) for water alone with little or no capital cost recovery; unlikely to be replicable.

Kamanga Compound Water Scheme (Irish Aid)

  • Communities responsible for maintenance of schemes but difficulties in collecting dues, especially with maintenance requirements increasing over time
  • Provision of water before cost recovery modalities were agreed created difficulties.

Chipata Community Water Project (CARE)

  • More realism is required in scheme feasibility studies, especially in terms of gauging the likely number of consumers.
  • Water scheme appears to be technically successful and community is managing it well, but the overall visible and environmental impact in the community is limited.

Pilot Project in Three Unplanned Urban Settlements (JICA)

  • Training in “soft” skills such as accounting and maintenance is critical if communities are to be expected to manage infrastructure facilities.
  • Community health and school based health programs are required and should be linked with community sanitation programs.
  • Micro-finance programs have had significant impact but revolving fund modalities and interest rates are critical for sustainability.
  • Home toilet schemes are required but need to be subsidized.

For more information:
Click on:
1. Background
2. Current Situation
3. Policy Context and Institutional Framework
4. Upgrading Projects and Programs
5. Case Study
6. Lessons Learned
7. Challenges and Proposed Next Steps
Annex A: Low Income Communities (Unplanned/Informal Settlements in Lusaka)
Annex B. Improvements in 8 Unplanned Settlements- Projects and Costs
Annex C. Contact Information
Annex D. Key Documents Studied
Annex E. Summary of Upgrading Typologies

Download for Printing:
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