The majority of the Zambian population who live off of less than a dollar a day are women. Through the Mama Sosa project, 30 Zambian women were trained in how to use media to shed light on their everyday challenges.
Mama Sosa means “Woman speak!” in the local Bemba dialect. The main share of the Zambian population who live off of less than 1 dollar a day are women. This makes them the largest marginalised group in the country. And their situation is even worse in the slums of Lusaka, home to 80% of the capital’s population. Here, women not only have to deal with poverty, but are also exposed to crime and prostitution-related violence on a daily basis.
The local media barely pay attention to these issues. According to Free Press Unlimited’s Programme Coordinator Nada Josimovic, women in Zambia are seen as second-rate citizens. As a consequence, they hardly have any opportunities to have their say: “If the media pay attention to women at all, they are usually treated in a very stereotypical manner.”
In the small-scale pilot project Mama Sosa, Free Press Unlimited worked together with the Zambian youth organisation House of Consciousness (HOC) to improve women’s situation in the capital. Nada Josimovic enthusiastically tells us about the project’s unexpected success.
Data show that nearly half of Delhi’s population lives in slums or unauthorised colonies. Among various other reasons, the Delhi Rent Control Act, which has been challenged in the Delhi High Court recently, is responsible for the present state of affairs. The Act, its critics claim, hurts the interests of landlords and tenants in equal measures. Landlords in the national capital’s central locations such as the City Zone, the Sadar, Paharganj Zone, Karol Bagh Zone and Civil Lines do not pay house tax because their earnings from these rent-controlled properties are meagre. Tenants of such properties also refrain from paying taxes because they fear that the property will fall out of the rent control regime if they pay the tax. Apart from making housing expensive, rent control laws are also the reason why many buildings in Delhi are poorly maintained.
However, Delhi’s experience is not unique. Throughout the world, rent control laws make housing expensive and hurt the interests of landlords and tenants, especially the low-income households. Unlike other Asian countries such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan which became prosperous as they made housing affordable by repealing rent control laws. In fact, rent control laws were imposed in most countries during the World War-II but were either repealed or mellowed over the next few decades. In Delhi, where the Rent Control Act was imposed in 1939, the law went through an evolution till 1959, but did not undergo major changes.
Read more: https://www.proptiger.com/how-rent-control
Last week, we wrote about a new report from the California Legislative Analyst’s Office that found that poorer neighborhoods that have added more market-rate housing in the Bay Area since 2000 have been less likely to experience displacement. The idea is counterintuitive but consistent with what many economists theorize: Build more housing, and the cost of it goes down. Restrict housing, and the cost of it rises. If you’re a struggling renter, you’re better off if there’s more housing for everyone.
Many readers responded by saying “of course! supply and demand!” as if we’d just uncovered the obvious. Many others responded “of course! supply and demand!” — by which they meant, facetiously, that market dynamics clearly don’t work this way in neighborhoods like the Mission in San Francisco, where poor residents feel pushed out by tech workers moving in.
At present we share our planet with some 7.5 billion other human beings, and as swollen as that number may already sound, it is projected to hit 10 billion before levelling off sometime around the middle of the century.
Global population may never scale the vertiginous peaks foreseen in the panicky neo-Malthusian literature of the mid-20th century, chiefly Paul and Anne Ehrlich’s famous jeremiad of 1968, The Population Bomb. Nor will overpopulation’s effects, as they fold back against the cities of the global north, much resemble the apocalyptic depictions in the era’s pop culture; 1973’s Soylent Green, for example, opens with a title card informing the viewer that 40 million souls reside in the smog-choked New York City of 2022, and that seems more than a little hard to imagine now. But neither is it a state of affairs one can dismiss casually. Every last one of those 10 billion human beings is going to need a place to live.
From 1968 to 1972, photographer Nick Hedges toured the country for Shelter. His work galvanised politicians – and now the charity wants to find out what happened to those he portrayed.
At first glance they seem to be the survivors of a besieged city. Standing in front of decrepit buildings that tower over streets absent of cars, they cut abject figures. Children in ragged clothes play on wasteland; a mother and her teenage daughter huddle in their home, a cellar lit by just one light bulb; a father in a dank living room festooned with broken furniture holds his toddler son close to his chest.
But these people have not been bombed into submission. They are not experiencing the horrors of the second world war. They are living in Britain in the swinging 60s, an era that the then prime minister, Harold Wilson, famously promised would deliver material improvements for all, thanks to the “white heat of technology”.
They are the inhabitants of Britain’s slums whose desperate plight, captured by the photographer, Nick Hedges, for the housing charity Shelter, helped alert the public to the woeful living conditions many people were enduring in the country’s neglected inner cities.
Sub-Saharan Africa is the part of the world most affected by the dual pressure of climate change and the rapid, uncontrolled transformation of its cities into megacities.
The extreme speed and scale of urbanisation has swallowed up many former peasants, incorporating them into the vast slums of sprawling megacities.
In these unplanned, hostile urban environments, where infrastructure is at a minimum, they are exposed to the dangers posed by rising seas and heavy rains – forces that wreak havoc and cause deaths every year.
But, from Lagos in the west to Dar es Salaam in the east, slum-dwellers, the middle class, and the elite alike are fighting back against the waters.
This is a visit to the front line of their battle: to Africa’s drowning megacities.