Population growth worries Harare

HARARE - Zimbabwe's capital Harare is facing an unprecedented increase in urban population that will pose new challenges in terms of water, housing and infrastructure.

In a stakeholders meeting held at Town House yesterday, councillor Christopher Mbanga said the only way to solve the problems facing the city was to address the burgeoning population.

“We are now planning for a certain number of people but come two three years’ time, we will be out of our plans,” Mbanga said.

Mbanga suggested that council build satellite cities.

Councillor Allan Markham highlighted that greater Harare, which includes Norton, Ruwa, Epworth and Chitungwiza, has a population of about 4,2 million people.

Markham highlighted that against the most recent national population census, one in three Zimbabweans stay in greater Harare.

Ultimately, he said, Harare was supporting this population and also has the burden of having to fund it.
“The only way to go forward is that central government will have to assist the city with a debt write-off and clear policy statement on how we progress as a city,” Markham said.

Councillor Enock Mupamawonde said the issue of overpopulation in Harare was symptomatic of a greater and deeper problem.

Mupamawonde said there was need to decongest cities by way of influencing policies and putting up structures such as Highglen and Westgate shopping centres in all towns.

“There is no need for people to come to Harare when all the services can be obtained from places like Highglen, the same for Norton and Ruwa, he said.

“This is symptomatic of the economic situation in the country. Unless and until this is resolved, attended to, then we will continue to have people who sell at OK stores because they have no other source of livelihood.”

In an earlier interview with the Daily News, deputy mayor Thomas Muzuwa said Harare council had been given more than 27 farms stretching all the way to Mazowe in order to accommodate the growing population.

With a population that is estimated to top five million by 2025, Muzuwa said farms will not be the only assistance to control the growing population.

“We are intending on developing the Kunzvi, Musami and Muda dams to cater for the population, we have over 27 farms given to the council by central government and with those three dams, we have to expand the city. Housing will not be a problem,” Muzuwa indicated.

Comments (7)

Highglen - is a bad example. Its like a ghost town. Its positioning was bad because the cost of travelling to that mall from say - Machipisa is the same as going to the city centre where you have more options available.

taps - 29 October 2013

Yes the population is growing but if you look at those nice tall buildings in town or cities, they were built be4 1980 so they is a need for introducing very big shopping malls like Jaggers but the government should do that because if someone built such places they will wait for you to finish and indigenize (personalize) it. As the population grows locations, suburbs, shopping malls, mini industries financed by government loans... and this can create employment too. The problem is that our top sharks are very egoistic, they think to feed there mouth. look at SA from Bhelabela to Jobec idholobha kupela.

Leaveit - 29 October 2013

Devolution, decentralisation and give incentives for companies that relocate to other provinces. Read about the case of how Lagos ceased to be Nigerian Capital City. It emanated from what is happening to Harare now. Learn from others and don't be new victims

Fugitive - 29 October 2013

Lets move the capital elsewhere like Kariba perhaps..there is all the clean water needed for clean government there or to Masvingo the mother city..by this move we make the regional capital even closer, I refer to Joburg. Harare has had enough as it is..move the seat of government elsewhere, please.

gutter poet - 29 October 2013

i am just supporting what has been higlighted by Councillor mr Christopher Mbanga. Of course there is need to have contigents plans ,like building of satellite cites in order to resovle unprecedented increase in population. Harare must be the first to be dealt with to minimise such challenges especially housing, water and sewer to rectify accommodation crisis and unprecedented disease,legal places for vendors, legal places for small and medium enterprises for exa-effective and wel monitored indigenisation policeis to ruduce unempolyment rate and improvement of life standards, wide roads -to reduce traffic congestion in the city centres which leads to incredible fares charged by comuter omnibuses drivers.This is just to mention,Now all these could be fruitless if there is no follow-up and evaluations interms of strenghts,opportunities ad weaknesses.lastly,We must put political affiliations aside for us to to build our future Zimbabwean economy to become a progressive one

peterndawana - 31 October 2013

The writer was privileged to be invited on a mercy mission to Harare Central Baptist Church last week, which included taking gifts, Christian literature and medical supplies to Karanda Mission Hospital and a peri-urban school Sunday worship (very special!). An observation was the pending water crisis in the event of a drought sequence of two of more years, while an abundant assured supply is available in Zambezi. Harare, Bulawayo and Johannesburg are similar in that all started planning assured water supply mid 20th century through dam construction. Johannesburg and gauteng is prosperous now because of it. If the Zambezi is not maintained, developed and rehabiltated in terms of water transportation as well to the sea for Zimbabwe and Zambia it will be a great pity.

Hugh William S. Hodge - 4 August 2014

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