LOCAL GOVT LAUNCHES PLANS TO UPGRADE SLUMS

The Minister of Local Government, Chieftainship, Home Affairs and Police, Mr. Lebona Lephema says the intention of the Global Action Plan Framework merges and strengthens efforts for the acceleration of the implementation of sustainable development goals (SDGs) and New Urban Agenda (NUA). 

He said this when officially launching the Global Action Plan, National Slum Upgrading and Prevention Strategy, and the Maseru Citywide Slum Upgrading and Prevention Action Plan at the event held in Maseru on Wednesday. 

He said for as long as people live in a world characterised by inequality, inequity and exclusion, the ministry will work tirelessly to transform informal settlements, saying these social and economic injustices are widely seen in slums and informal settlements hence the implementation of SDGs and NUA is a necessary step to improve lives of slum dwellers. 

The Minister stressed that the slums and informal settlements are a breeding ground for social ills, saying the burden is often carried by girls, women and young people in general. 

Mr. Lephema, therefore, thanked the European Commission, UN-Habitat, Organizations for Africa Caribbean Pacific for supporting Lesotho politically, technically and financially to make this project a success. 

Also Speaking, the Maseru City Town Clerk, Mr. Molete Selete said the Maseru city is experiencing very high and rapid urbanization which has resulted in expansive unplanned low densities and sprawling settlements which have become very expensive to provide with basic infrastructure. 

He noted that the Housing Profile (2014) shows that for Maseru, only 51 percent of households in low-income housing areas have access to improved sanitation while only 2.5 percent of households in poor neighbourhoods have access to flush toilets that are connected to the municipal sewer. 

He said that without addressing these issues the settlements lack essential services such as sanitation, health, education and important facilities. 

Meanwhile, stakeholders took a tour to familiarise themselves with the selected areas like Qoaling and Lithoteng before the launch. 

The upgrading process is a result of the challenges that slum dwellers face which include a lack of infrastructure and other services which commonly affect women and children.

The Minister of Local Government, Chieftainship, Home Affairs and Police, the Town Clerk and relevant ministries signed a consent form and pledged to work hard to implement the action plan.

By Staff Reporter: ‘Maphoka Likotsi 

  

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