ARUSHA, Tanzania, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- The Tanzanian government is to launch a countrywide demolition targeting houses built in unplanned areas, a senior official announced on Sunday.
William Lukuvi, Minister for Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development, said the exercise is aimed at ensuring that buildings are built in planned areas and not otherwise.
The government's move came at the time when studies show that more than 50 percent of urban residents in the East African nation live in unplanned settlements.
The minister blamed the unplanned settlements on local officials who turned a blind eye to people building houses and other structures haphazardly.
He said the majority of town planners were spending most of the time in the comfort of their offices instead of being in the field.
"We cannot continue with the (land) formalization exercise while there are some few people thwarting the efforts. Council directors, land officers and urban planners are the major obstacle to this," the official said, vowing a war with officials who continue thwarting the government's land formalizing efforts.
With a population of 5 million, the country's commercial capital Dar es Salaam has approximately two-thirds of its residents living in informal settlements.