District officials in Zimba, a rural district located in the Southern Province of Zambia, are putting together an Integrated Development Plan (IDP) for 2020-2030. The plan will highlight key issues within the area and provide concrete actions that Zimba Town Council will take in accordance with national planning standards.
While developing the plan, officers recognised the need for data that accurately depicted where people and resources were located in order to inform planning decisions. They tried to collect this information themselves but faced numerous challenges. Josephine Chiila, District Planning Officer, explains more:
“Zimba, which was initially under Kalomo district, was declared a district in 2012 by His Excellency the late Republican President of Zambia, Michael Chilufya Sata. For a period of time, there were no census projections for Zimba because previous surveys only looked at the entire district when it was under Kalomo. Because of this, information about the area was scanty. We tried collecting this information ourselves but experienced difficulties due to the cost associated with obtaining data, poor connectivity, and issues with accessibility. You find in your day to day planning that some places are inaccessible. The terrain is bad but you need to enter a certain area to collect data. We aim at addressing multi-sectoral targets, objectives and government priorities from our Seventh National Development Plan and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, but how do you collect data from these hard-to-reach areas? This is why the GRID3 data proved to be valuable.”
Districts in Southern Province, Zambia