HomeNewsGovt to regularise structures on wetlands

Govt to regularise structures on wetlands

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GOVERNMENT is in the process of drafting mechanisms to regularise structures built on wetlands, NewsDay has learnt.

BY RICHARD MUPONDE

Speaking on Star FM yesterday, National Housing minister Daniel Garwe said all settlements built on wetlands would be regularised, except for those built under electricity lines, roads, servitudes and sewer lines which will be demolished.

His statement comes at a time there has been mushrooming of informal settlements throughout the country due to housing shortages in cities.

Most of the informal settlements have been sprouting on unserviced land.

“As government, we are intensifying the regularisation of informal settlements which mushroomed around the country and some on wetlands,” Garwe said.

“Those which are built on habitable land will be regularised. However, there are some which were built under electricity lines, on top of sewers and water reticulation systems and road servitudes, which are going to be demolished,” he said.

The minister said they would hire engineers to redesign all deserving informal housing sites in order to avoid demolitions.

He blamed private land developers and housing co-operatives for fuelling the mushrooming of illegal settlements.

“In 2000, the government invited private land developers and co-operative leaders to join them in providing the much-needed services and infrastructure. They were given tracts and tracts of land to sell as stands to home-seeking people. Alas, this is not what we expected. They decided to sell the unserviced land to desperate home-seekers. They decided in some instances to double allocate the same piece of land to several people. That created a lot of chaos which we are seeing in every urban area right now,” he said.

He also warned land barons against selling State land, adding that their days were numbered.

The move comes as the police have intensified arrests of land barons, with most of them having been arraigned before the courts for selling State land.

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