Approaching a greener build environment: Government Sustainable Housing Guidelines validated through stakeholder workshop
Following a one-day workshop at the Ndoza Lodge in Lusaka, invited stakeholders representing industry key players from government, private sector and academia unanimously validated the Sustainable Housing Guidelines and Policy Review Report, drafted by the Ministry of Local Government and Housing (MLGH) with technical support of the Zambia Green Jobs Programme.
As a final step in the review process initiated in November 2014 where the Ministry shared with industry stakeholders the Sustainable Housing Guidelines and Policy Review Report, drafted in collaboration with the Zambia Green Jobs Programme (ZGJP), a validation workshop was held on 14th May 2015 with key stakeholders drawn from the government, private sector, academia and civil society. In total 50 participants representing National Council for Construction, Ministry of Lands Environment and Natural Resources, Zambia Environmental Management Agency, National Housing Authority, Zambia Institute of Architects, Zambia Institute of Planners, Civic Forum for Housing and Habitat, the Copperbelt University, the University of Zambia and the National Association for Medium and Small Scale Contractors (NAMSSC), amongst others gave their input on the draft document, presented by the Zambia Green Jobs Programme, represented by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
In his welcoming remarks, the Zambia Green Jobs Programme, Programme Manager, Mr. Karl Pfeffer highlighted the role of the construction industry and its potential to support job creation as well as inclusive green growth of the economy. He stressed the importance of a sound and enabling regulatory framework that would support the building and construction industry and expressed that the validation of the Sustainable Housing Guidelines was a key step in this process.
In a speech read on his behalf by the Director of Department of Housing Infrastructure Development (DHID), Engineer Misheck Lungu, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, mentioned that the built environment has been identified as one of the major consumers of natural resources. As such climate change and the impacts attributed to this sector requires sustainable built environments and practices that aim to develop integrated and responsive strategies addressing both climate change adaptation and mitigation requirements as well as local sustainable development priorities. Therefore, the draft guidelines and policy review documents validated describe responsive and integrated approaches that can be used to develop more sustainable housing in Zambia.
With the validated Sustainable Housing Guidelines mainstreamed into the national planning and development processes, the guidelines will provide incitement and details on how sustainability can be integrated into national housing development, planning and management. Furthermore, the guidelines are designed to support housing development that not only responds to climate change challenges, but to local sustainable development priorities in an integrated manner. It is expected that the review will result in Zambia updating relevant laws, regulations and by-laws to accelerate the absorption of sustainability into the construction and building sector.
The workshop was formally closed by the Director of Physical Planning and Housing in the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, Mr Numeral Banda, who emphasised the importance of incorporating sustainability at design and approval stages of physical plans. He also called for more participation of professionals to make their contribution in promoting sustainability in the housing sector.
Zambia Green Jobs Programme
Ms Musoli JM Kashinga
Ministry of Local Government and Housing
Mr Mukuka Chibwe
Assistant Director, Physical Planning and Housing Department