2017 Volume 69 Issue 1 Pages 73-86
Disparity in the patterns of development between rural and urban areas in Zambia has resulted in very high rural-urban migration with a lack of corresponding effort to provide appropriate housing in the expanding urban regions. This paper analyses the history of land administration, urban housing problems, and residential land conflicts in Zambia during the era of economic liberation and land commercialisation. A major problem is the fact that about 80% of national housing in Zambia is located in informal and unplanned settlements. Provision of services such as water, electricity, and sanitation in unplanned settlement areas is inadequate, resulting in floods and diseases such as cholera and dysentery. Zambia has experienced a critical shortage in housing since independence in 1964 when barriers to rural-urban migration were eliminated. The Zambian government enacted the 1995 Land Act, with the aim of stimulating the accumulation of capital and reducing poverty in the nation, and this significantly impacted land ownership and urban housing. The housing sector in Zambia is largely driven by “self-help housing” initiatives, but many residents are unable to afford construction costs and land rent. A serious potential problem is the disruption of social order due to competition for urban residential land and the radical responses of urban residents to land requisition by administrative subrogation.