The Zambia slum dialogue also presented a unique opportunity for those living in informal settlements to voice their concerns and make recommendations. "The community needs support from all stakeholders to improve the welfare of its settlers. We need stakeholders to talk to us on what our priorities are, before projects are decided", stated Mr. Lesson Chibalamuna, a resident of the John Laing Informal Settlement.
'Informal settlement residents get land illegally because of the bureaucracy and inefficiency of the Council in land allocation', added Mr. Lesson Chibalamuna, from the John Laing Settlement.
At the meeting a new National Policy and Strategy on Sanitation for Informal Settlements, was proposed, and it was agreed that the Ministry of Local Government and Housing and the Lusaka City Council should develop clear guidelines on land allocation to protect informal settlement dwellers from victimization. In order to tackle persistent drainage problems in informal settlements, it was recommended that Lusaka City Council engages the Engineering Institute of Zambia to develop and initiate a drainage maintenance system. Participants also noted that the Council needs to be supported to develop coordination mechanisms among service providers as they open up new areas for human settlement as well as promote civic education to reduce vandalism of public utilities in informal settlements.
Launched in 2008, the Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme seeks to improve the living conditions in towns and cities and positively contribute to Millennium Goal 7, Target 11, to improve the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers by the year 2020. Currently, there are 63 cities in 38 ACP countries are participating in the programme.
The programme's purpose is to strengthen capacity of local, central and regional institutions and key stakeholders' in settlement and slum improvement through the use of good governance and management approaches, pilot projects and contributing, where needed, to the policy development, and the implementation of institutional, legislative, financial, and normative and implementation frameworks.
To contribute to meeting these challenges, the Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme seeks to harmonize with local and national stakeholders on key slum upgrading projects through initiating the creation of a network for regional slum upgrading challenges. For this purpose, regional training and policy seminars on the programme's concept, themes and methods will be organized with all involved stakeholders. The programme also aims to support local and national authorities in identifying adequate funding to carry out specific activities.