Resettlement funds for Lusaka’s displaced
Urban renewal efforts in the developing world can have a troubling downside: forced relocation of slum dwellers, often without compensation. The Lusaka Times reports that the 2,000 residents displaced by a major infrastructure project are receiving financial assistance to move elsewhere.
That’s welcome news for Lusaka, the capital and largest city in Zambia and among the world’s poorest cities. The US$9 million in resettlement funds is being provided by the Millennium Challenge Corporation, an American foreign aid agency created by the U. S. Congress in 2004.
The project overseen by Lusaka Water Supply, Sanitation and Drainage involves the upgrade of a water treatment facility and expansion of sewage lines. Fourteen townships are impacted by the construction, scheduled to be complete in November 2018. About 450 people already have received payments, the article notes.
Millennium Challenge Corporation Resident Country Director Steve Marma tells the Lusaka Times that Zambia had to meet 20 benchmarks to qualify for funds. They include good governance and a corruption-free procurement process.