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Experts decry rise of slum housing in urban cities

By Cornelius Essen, Abuja
03 February 2020   |   3:11 am
Experts in the urban settlement have revealed that high population growth rate is causing an exponential increase in the demand for shelter

Experts in the urban settlement have revealed that high population growth rate is causing an exponential increase in the demand for shelter, urban services and consumable goods in Africa.

According to experts, countries are not realising the value of this due to the unplanned expansion of most populous cities, a significant threat to social, economic, and environmental stability of human settlements

The Head UN-Habitat Somalia Programme, Ishyaku Maitumbi, who spoke at a Forum on Lands, Housing and Urban Development in Abuja, called for partnerships and technical cooperation for sustainable urbanisation in Africa.

Maitumbi explained that Africa’s urban population in 2009 was 395 million, representing 40 per cent, adding that in 2040, it is projected to be between one billion to 1.23 billion in 2050, representing 60 per cent growth rate.

He also added that cities growth rates have increased and a good number of people living in slums between 2000 and 2016 are growing leading to an uncontrolled process of urbanization in most countries.

According to him, UN-HABITAT is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to promote the development of socially and environmentally sustainable human settlements for all.

On New UN-Habitat Strategic Plan 2020 – 2023, he argued that with Nigeria’s support, UN-Habitat launched the Africa Urban Agenda (AUA) project to strengthen the partnership between national governments and non-state actors.

Addressing participants, Minister of State Works and Housing, Abubakar Aliyu, an engineer, said this is opportunity to collectively review preparations for the Tenth World Urban Forum in Abu Dhabi this month.

The Managing Director of Shelter-Afrique, Andrew Chimphondah said they support housing and urban development in Africa in partnership with 44 African Governments, African Development Bank (AfDB) and others.

“We have been providing new housing supply (and demand) in Sub-Sahara Africa for 36 years. It also provides financial solutions and related services to support the supply side and demand side of the affordable housing value chain.”

Among the proposed projects Echostone Housing Projects, Diaspora City projects in partnership with the Federal Housing Authority, Jhukuchi-Shata project.

He said:  “At least 700, 000 units required per year to keep up with growing population and urban migration. The cheapest house in Africa is found in Luvu-Madaki, in Nasarawa, built by the Millard Fuller Foundation (MFF).”

Also, Paul Okunlola of UN-HAPSO Nigeria Office, said their mandate is to provide technical, managerial and logistics support in the implementation of programmes and projects in human settlements development in Nigeria, and other countries in Africa.

Contributing, Edinoh Uwodi of Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, expressed disappointment over land acquisition, saying, it has posed a major challenge to the implementation of projects in Lagos and Rivers.

“Though work has commenced in 25 states and FCT of Phase II of the programme, state governments are therefore enjoined to donate land for the execution and to affordable houses for the citizens.”