Town planners institute sensitizes government, public about town planning

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By Lerema Pheea

From 1966 Lesotho’s major city Maseru’s expansion has been haphazard and unregulated to the detriment of the livelihoods of residents of the city.

According to the Lesotho Town and Regional Planning Institute (LTRPI) the world celebrates November 8, World Town Planning Day.

The institute said the Day is commemorated in order to create awareness and promote the role of planning in creating liveable towns and urban communities.

The Institute commemorated this day as by providing planning education and sensitizing the government and members of the public about the importance of and need for Town planning.

The institute’s President Teboho Lebusa said town planning is the sole responsibility of the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftainship aiming to promote effective and sustainable land management and administration together with rural and urban development in the country.

Lebitsa also mentioned that the named ministry has to facilitate the delivery of affordable quality houses to Basotho within properly planned settlements.

“It is vitally important to think ahead to accommodate urban growth in the case of deciding which should be built on and when and the determination of their use.

“Lesotho is still has a steep and challenging road ahead; town planning in Lesotho highly lacks practical relevance due to inability to implement development plans and an inefficient and ineffective land governance system,” said Lebitsa.

He further detailed that the country is faced with a land-use crisis and is highly in need of land-use planning thus the evidence is uncontrolled urban growth seen by a highly visible manifestation of informal settlement and other spatial developments.

“We are aware and concerned that apart from lack of political will to implement plans, planning law of the country it is long proven futile.

“The planning legislation applicable is the town and country planning Act of 1980, only does this legislation not respond to current day spatial challenges but it is old and has never been fully implemented or reviewed”, said Lebitsa.

Lebitsa said that if their institute is well capacitated, they can help to regulate planning professionals and empower the government to ensure proper planning from the local to the central level of the government hence why they urge them to grant this institute status of a statutory body so that they can be able to work hand in hand in creating Lesotho they can be proud of.

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