Housing and Infrastructure Development Minister Ronald Chitotela says his Ministry will in 2019 conduct a national housing census to establish the current accommodation needs as well as housing deficits in the country.

And Chitotela says Lusaka’s Misisi, Kuku, Chibolya, Bauleni and Kanyama settlements have been proposed for upgrades so that residential areas are well-planned with all social amenities put in place.

In a statement issued by his public relations officer Jeff Banda, Chitotela stated that the census would be undertaken in collaboration with the Central Statistics Office (CSO), who would also help the Ministry to monitor housing developments in Zambia.

“We want to know the exact number and type of houses in the country so that we know our latest deficit and requirement. Once we have this data, we shall be able to plan adequately knowing where need is and where we just need to improve.’’ Banda quoted Chitotela as saying.

He said the census would enable both the public and private sector to adequately participate in provision of housing in the country.

And Chitotela explained that his Ministry had further embarked on slum upgrades in Lusaka in an effort to address the housing deficit currently prevailing in the country.

“The slum upgrading in the capital city is being done in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government and other stake holders, such as Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company and the power utility company, Zesco,” explained Chitotela.

He revealed that a committee had been instituted to look into the matter of slum upgrading and was being supervised by permanent secretaries from the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development and Local Government.

Chitotela also said a Romanian company, Rio-Aid, had been engaged to conduct pre and actual feasibility studies for the slum upgrade at no cost.