The Evolution and Dynamics of Urban Poverty in Zambia
Urban poverty has become a characteristic feature of urban living in Zambia. Statistical evidence suggests that of the 4.3 million people resident in urban areas of Zambia, 34 % live in extreme poverty while 18 % are moderately poor (CSO, 2005). These figures are indicative that more than half (i.e. 53 %) of the urban population in Zambia live in poverty (CSO, 2004, 2005). Despite these high figures in urban poverty, Zambia as a country has not yet developed an explicit policy framework with which to address the increase in urban poverty and vulnerability. Indeed the failure to formulate urban food policies at the national and municipal levels have played a significant role in the increase of contemporary food problems being faced by many urban residents in the country. This chapter reviews the history of urban development and welfare in Zambia and discusses the nature, roots and dynamics of urban poverty and the coping mechanisms employed by urban residents in Zambia. Institutions form a major part of the discussion throughout the chapter.