Fashola Replies Amnesty International, To Build 1,008 Flats In Badia

www.channelstv.com.  August 12, 2013. The Lagos state governor, Babatunde Fasola, in a counter response to allegations made by Amnesty International has refuted claims that his administration is displacing some residents by pulling down their buildings.
A report by the organisation stated that an estimated 9,000 residents of Badia East lost their homes or livelihoods. However senior officials in the Lagos state government had claimed that the area was a rubbish dump.

According to Oluwatosin Popoola who is Amnesty International’s Nigeria researcher, “The effects of February’s forced eviction have been devastating for the Badia East community where dozens are still sleeping out in the open or under a nearby bridge exposed to rain, mosquitoes and at risk of physical attack”.
However, Governor Fashola countered Amnesty’s allegation that the government’s plan is to solve problems and ensure better living for residents. “That is why I have committed to build 1,008 flats in Badiya, to take people out of living on the refuse heap.”

Read more: http://www.channelstv.com/fashola-replies-amnesty-international

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Ayomide Owonibi – Amnesty International: 75% of Lagosians Live In Slums

www.tribune.com.ng. August 12, 2013. The Amnesty International has stated that despite the Lagos State government’s lofty dreams of making the state a mega city, about 75 per cent of Lagosians live in slums.
Speaking at a press conference, on Monday, on the heels of the demolition of Ijora Badia East, Mr Oluwatosin Popoola, Amnesty International’s Nigeria researcher, stated that the state government’s failure to respect the rights of the residents of Badia had resulted in hardship for the people who still remained largely homeless and jobless despite pleas from them for compensation from the state government.
He stated that forced evictions of Nigerians in Lagos had cost around 9,000 people their homes or livelihoods. He added that tens of thousands more could be at risk if the government proceeded with plans to redevelop the slum area of Badia East.
According to a report jointly issued with the Social and Economic Rights Action Centre (SERAC) and the Amnesty International, the Lagos State government must act consistently with Nigeria’s obligations under the international law.

Read more: http://www.tribune.com.ng/our-aim-is-to-build-1008-flats-at-badia

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The Housing Crisis

Amandla.org. August, 12, 2013
As demonstrated in these pages the housing crisis is complex and multi-layered and cannot be separated from the wider social malaise facing South Africa. The causes of this crisis include policy confusion, market-based mechanisms for service provision, and the conception of ‘word-class cities’ as the ultimate goal of urban planners.

It should be noted that the housing crisis is not unique to South Africa. A similar phenomenon can be found across the developing world, from Brazil to India. Millions are flocking to the growing megacities in search of a better future as neoliberal policies force peasants off their land to make way for new mining projects and small-scale farmers are forced to compete with large-scale agribusiness from the EU or the US.

The cost of the neoliberal vision of the ‘world-class city’ is the emergence of new human dumping grounds in South Africa, termed ‘temporary relocation areas’ (TRAs). The most infamous of these is Blikkiesdorp, in Delft, Cape Town. Many of those evicted due to gentrification in such neighbourhoods as Woodstock, or because of decisions to ‘clean up’ the city for tourists for the 2010 World Cup, are dumped into these areas, supposedly for a short period. But, as any Blikkiesdorp resident will tell you, nobody seems to be moving out of these areas and into brand new RDP houses.

Read more: http://www.amandla.org.za/the-housing-crisis

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The Human Scale Trailer 2013

futurecapetown.com. August 9, 2013. A critical view on the way we build and use our cities.

50 % of the world’s population lives in urban areas. By 2050 this will increase to 80%. Life in a mega city is both enchanting and problematic. Today we face peak oil, climate change, loneliness and severe health issues due to our way of life. But why? The Danish architect and professor Jan Gehl has studied human behaviour in cities through 40 years. He has documented how modern cities repel human interaction, and argues that we can build cities in a way, which takes human needs for inclusion and intimacy into account.

Read more: http://futurecapetown.com/the-human-scale-trailer

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Lejone John Ntema – Self-Help Housing In South Africa: Paradigms, Policy And Practice

Although the role of the state in housing provision in developing countries has varied considerably since World War II, Harris (1998; 2003) asserts that the state has, in general, continued to play a significant role in the provision of low-income housing. In turn, the role of the state – as embodied in its various policies, paradigms and practices – has become the subject of debate among academics, scholars, researchers and policy makers. Despite the fact that self-help housing is as old as humankind itself (Pugh, 2001), and that it was practised in different parts of the world before World War II (Harms, 1992; Harris, 2003; Parnell & Hart, 1999; Ward, 1982), it has since received varied institutional backing (Harris, 2003) and even more prominently since the early 1970s because of the World Bank’s influence in this regard (Pugh, 1992). From literature it is evident that one can distinguish between three different forms of self-help, namely laissez-faire self-help (virtually without any state involvement),
state aided self-help (site-and-services schemes) and institutionalised self-help (cases where the state actively supports self-help through housing institutions) (more detailed definitions follow in Section 1.1.2). Various forms of self-help housing have long been one of the most prevalent housing options in the world since World War II (see for example Dingle, 1999; Harris, 1998; Ward, 1982). The theoretical notion of self-help in the context of developing countries is commonly attributed to JFC Turner (Turner, 1976). Yet, it should be admitted that aided self-help in particular was both lobbied for, and practised, long before the rise of  Turner’s ideas in the 1960s and 1970s (see Harris, 1998; 1999b). Furthermore, Turner’s
work, along with its practical consequences, is closely associated with the site-and-services and neo-liberal policies promoted by the World Bank (Pugh, 1992).

PhD-thesis University of the Free State, Bloemfontein: http://etd.uovs.ac.za/NtemaLJ.pdf

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Blaise Dobson & Jean-Pierre Roux – Opportunities in Urban Informality, Development And Climate Resilience In African Cities

cdkn.org. Blaise Dobson and Jean-Pierre Roux (SouthSouthNorth) argue that African urbanisation and burgeoning informal settlements present an opportunity to build truly adaptive cities.

African cities are characterised by high levels of slums and informal settlements, largely informal economies, high levels of unemployment, majority youthful populations, and low levels of industrialisation. They have the highest growth rates in the world despite the fact that sub-Saharan Africa is still only approximately 40% urbanised. The urban poor, who largely reside in informal settlements and slums, are vulnerable to a range of global change effects, including global economic and climate change impacts. These can combine to have devastating effects on the poor, who generally survive on less than US$ 2 per day, but also on the ‘floating middle class’, who are defined as living on between US$ 2 – 4 per day, and constitute 60% of the African middle class.

The African Centre for Cities (ACC) and Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) hosted a three-day workshop in Cape Town in July aimed at developing a framework for understanding the intersection between climate resilience and urban informality, and promoting integrated urban development and management within African cities. ‘Champion groups’ from Accra (Ghana), Kampala (Uganda) and Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), which included local authorities, academia and civil society attended.


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