URBAN SPRAWL AND ITS EFFECTS ON THE ENVIRONMENT

Introduction

In Africa, Zambia is among the water rich countries. It has abundant natural water resources,
which include three major rivers, namely Kafue, Luangwa, and the largest being the Zambezi
River, it also has three lakes namely Bangweulu, Tanganyika and Kariba which house the
Kariba Dam.

Despite this vast natural resource the majority of her population still has inadequate access to
clean water. Water is the second most critical need after oxygen, any disruption to the
provision and quality tends to get in the way of the survival of humanity (Chanda, 1997).
Most cities in developing countries are faced with high levels of water shortages and Lusaka
is not excluded. One factor that has caused inadequate water supply is the rapid unplanned
urban growth or expansion of Lusaka City. This growth has led to urban sprawl. Urban
sprawl has been defined as “a particular type of urban development characterised by very low
density settlements, both residential and non-residential which is dominated by the use of
private automobiles, unlimited outward expansion of new subdivisions and leapfrog
development of these subdivisions; and segregation of land use by activity” (The US
Department Of Housing And Urban Development, 1999).

Urban sprawl has some positive aspects however, it also has effects on the environment.

Justification

The recent increase in infrastructure developments in the urban areas of Lusaka City has led
to a number of environmental issues which include air pollution, loss of natural inhabitants,
land degradation plus high levels of water consumption. This unplanned growth has led to
Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company being unable to meet the increased in demand for
water. Thus Lusaka City is characterised with high levels of water shortages and a decrease in
the quality of water. This paper will focused on how the Urban Sprawl of Lusaka City has
led to the high levels of water shortages and a decrease in water quality.

industrial and residential activities. ground water depletion and accidental oils and diesel spills. The following are some of the causes of water shortages:- Unplanned demand: The urban expansion of Lusaka city has put a strain on the Kafue River which the main supply of water to Lusaka District. Agricultural activities include pesticides. 2016).Causes of water shortages The main sources of water supply in Lusaka City comes from surface water which is supplied from the Kafue River and ground water from boreholes spread around the city. industrial activities such as improper disposal of industrial chemicals and waste can also contaminate ground water and finally residential activities such as Excessive Borehole drilling: urban expansion in Lusaka is mainly unplanned therefore services such as water and sewerage are not provided for by the authorities. many property owners have resorted to drilling boreholes (Times of Zambia. in order to solve the problem of water shortages. The plant was established in 1970 and since then no major expansion programme have been undertaken to increase capacity to the growing demand. Implications of water scarcity on the environment Ground water pollution: ground water contamination can be caused by agricultural. Drought: the drought which Zambia experience in the last two years cause the water levels in Kafue River to decrease thus causing water shortages Distance: the distance between Lusaka and Kafue is also a factor that has caused water shortages. REFERENCE . fertilizers and animal wastes. Borehole drilling can impact the environment in the following ways. soil compaction. Old pipelines: most of the pipelines in Lusaka are old and hence there are leakages which cause a disconnect in the service provision.