Christine Mungai – Big Surprises: Why African Cities Should Look At Slums As The ‘New Normal’

No comments yet Photo: Flickr/Meena Kadri
Photo: Flickr/Meena Kadri August 2014. It’s the mantra of urban public policy in Africa: Slums are bad. Everyone should live in a decent house that doesn’t let in the cold and rain, has clean water to drink, and not have to jump rivers of sewage to get home.
But the story isn’t as straightforward as that—scratching past the surface can challenge some of the assumptions held about Africa’s “informal settlements”, as they are euphemistically called.
The proportion of city dwellers who live in slums can be staggeringly high in Africa—in most of western, eastern and central Africa, more than 50% of city residents live in slums, and it can be as high as 80% in Mozambique, Angola and Central African Republic (CAR).
The stereotypical image of a slum is that of a squalid, overcrowded settlement of dilapidated metal-and-cardboard shacks.

But some African cities “hide” their slums well. In Addis Ababa, for example, some 40% of the housing stock is formal, yet a quarter of those in supposedly good formal housing actually live in slum-like conditions—a quarter lack access to toilets, a third share toilets with more than six families, and 34% rely on public water taps that have unreliable supply.

Read more:

Bookmark and Share


Leave a Reply

What is 2 + 5 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)

  • About

    Rozenberg Quarterly aims to be a platform for academics, scientists, journalists, authors and artists, in order to offer background information and scholarly reflections that contribute to mutual understanding and dialogue in a seemingly divided world. By offering this platform, the Quarterly wants to be part of the public debate because we believe mutual understanding and the acceptance of diversity are vital conditions for universal progress. Read more...
  • Support

    Rozenberg Quarterly does not receive subsidies or grants of any kind, which is why your financial support in maintaining, expanding and keeping the site running is always welcome. You may donate any amount you wish and all donations go toward maintaining and expanding this website.

    10 euro donation:

    20 euro donation:

    Or donate any amount you like:

    ABN AMRO Bank
    Rozenberg Publishers
    IBAN NL65 ABNA 0566 4783 23
    reference: Rozenberg Quarterly

    If you have any questions or would like more information, please see our About page or contact us:
  • Like us on Facebook

  • Archives