In a statement in reaction to an announcement that Kalulushi and Chambishi will soon have shopping malls to be built by Turbo Agencies and Unity Garments respectively, Zambia Road Safety Trust (ZRST) chairman Daniel Mwamba stated that it would be “better and healthier” if to have more playgrounds in the country.
“Children should not be doing exercises on the road; it’s dangerous for their road safety. And it would be better and healthier for the general population, if more playgrounds were built than shopping malls…what this country needs now are playgrounds and recreational areas instead of shopping malls. According to media reports, on 14th March 2019, the Kalulushi Municipal Council concluded negotiations with ‘Turbo Agencies and Unity Garments’ for the construction of two shopping malls in Kalulushi and Chambishi. Kalulushi Shopping Mall would be constructed at Patterson opposite Mine Club while the Chambishi shopping Mall would be next to its council offices,” Mwamba stated.
“The ZRST is seriously saddened by this new development. The place identified for these two shopping malls is better suited for recreation and conservation for the public benefit. I think it’s safe to say that shopping malls are dominating every city and major town in this country, and yet more are still being constructed, replacing every designated playground. People are always walking in the malls but they don’t always buy. So why not build parks for people to exercise in and do their walking?”
He stated that playgrounds could encourage physical activity and sustain healthy lifestyles.
“Even a small and inexpensive park provides great opportunities for exercise, away from dangers of cars. Playgrounds create an opportunity for children to enjoy themselves and interact especially when they return from school. They will encourage everyone to stay outside and enjoy the fresh air. It would also motivate everyone to exercise and stay healthy,” stated Mwamba. “Playgrounds are also a powerful prescription to combat chronic diseases. We’ve got an epidemic of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) on our hands: diabetes and asthma and heart attack and stroke. Therefore, ZRST is calling on Kalulushi Municipal Council to rethink its plans for construction of the two shopping malls and urges all relevant government authorities – the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Local Government to halt the pattern of constructing shopping malls on land which should be recreational playgrounds.”