The Guardian
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‘Millions of Nigerians may miss homes by 2050’


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Hundreds of millions of people in developing countries, including Nigeria, will lose their homes against their will in the next 30 years.

A ground-breaking study by Prindex, a joint initiative of the Global Land Alliance and Overseas Development Institute (ODI), asked adults across 33 countries whether they fear losing the right to use their homes in the next five years.

The countries covered in the study include Nigeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Bolivia, Cambodia, Cameroon, Colombia, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Ecuador, Ghana, Honduras, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Peru, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Thailand, Tunisia, Uganda, United Kingdom, Vietnam and Zambia.


More than 210 million people living in African cities fear for their rights to stay in their homes by 2050.

One in four adults said that it was likely that they would lose their homes.

Those who feared for their future property rights cited factors including lack of funds to pay rent, the possibility that owners or primary renters would ask them to leave, family disputes, or land seizures by governments, businesses or others.

Women were more likely to lose their homes in the event of divorce or death of spouse.

Across the 33 countries, nearly 117 million children (21per cent) live in households with an adult who feels insecure about their tenure.

According to the study, women have much less confidence than men that they will retain access to their homes if divorced or widowed

Nearly 32 million adults living in urban areas of Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), who were surveyed by Prindex, feel insecure in their rights to their home and land. That means there could be more than 60 million adults living in urban areas in SSA who are tenure-insecure. Based on urban population growth projections, the number could exceed 210 million by 2050, assuming rates of tenure insecurity remain the same.

In West and Central Africa, people are mostly concerned, while Latin America has the lowest regional average rate.

Co-director of Prindex, Malcolm Childress, said: “These findings are alarming. People who are insecure in their homes often struggle to plan for their future, invest money or get an education. Too many children are growing up under these circumstances.

“So ensuring people feel secure in their homes is critical to growing healthy, fair economies. Governments around the world must take note of these findings when making decisions on land and property regulations.”

Head of the Agricultural Development and Policy Programme at ODI and co-director of Prindex, Anna Locke, said: “The Prindex survey shows for the first time that every morning, hundreds of millions of people around the world wake up fearing they might lose their home.

“This should make us reconsider how we think about development. The finding that women feel less secure than men in the event of divorce or death of their partner is particularly striking – it shows there is a long way to go in meeting the aspiration of equal economic rights for women worldwide.”

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