By CHILA NAMAIKO –
LOCAL Government Minister Vincent Mwale has directed councils countrywide to ensure as new residential areas emerge, there is a provision to establish play parks and other recreational centers.
Mr Mwale, has meanwhile, said the Ndola City Council (NCC) plans to carry out a land audit exercise to identify land that can be redeemed and turned into play parks.
He informed Parliament on Tuesday that the Government’s policy was to maintain and ensure there were play parks that provided recreation facilities to people.
“As a Government, we are going to ensure that we maintain play parks throughout the country and as new residential areas merge in all areas, there must be embedded in integrated development plan for such areas as play parks and recreation facilities,” he said.
Mr Mwale said children had the right to play, and as such, the Government was helping them in the quest to ensure they enjoyed their rights.
He clarified that NCC had not sold all the recreation centres and play parks in Ndola Central Constituency.
The minister was responding to question for oral answers from Patriotic Front (PF) Ndola Central Member of Parliament (MP) Emmanuel Mulenga.
Mr Mulenga asked why NCC had sold all play parks and recreation centres in his constituency and whether there were plans to create new play parks and recreation centres in the same area.
But Mr Mwale clarified that, out of the nine play parks in Ndola Constituency, only two among them Amusement in Kansanshi was sold by NCC.
He said the sale was aimed at enabling NCC to raise funds to clear arrears for retirees owed to the Local Authority Superannuation Fund as a short term measure.
Mr Mwale, however, said NCC maintained ownership of the seven play parks in Ndola Constituency namely Chavuma, Lwalaba, Mukuni, Yembe, Lupili, Kwacha recreation centre, and Petauke.
He said the NCC would soon carry out a land audit to identify land that could be redeemed and turned into new play parks in the city.