Urbanization, Urban-Slum Settlements and its Implications on Health: An Insight from Lagos State, Nigeria
Keywords:Urbanization, Slum Settlement, Health, Lagos State, Makoko
The nexus between living conditions and health has been a debatable issue for many decades. The dismal living conditions in Nigeria cities have become topical in recent times. It is worrisome how many urban Nigerians dwell in shacks, dilapidated and substandard houses, with varying degrees of filth and degradation within the neighborhood. Reports have indicated that more than 1 billion people worldwide live in urban slum and these slum dwellers are exposed to health risk due to poverty or lack of access to necessary resources for healthy living. Due to the challenge of poverty and economic crises ravaging the third world nations among which is Nigeria, the number of slum settlements and slum dwellers is expected to grow further. The living conditions of slum dwellers are characterized by overcrowding, insecure tenure, and poor access to infrastructure, such as sanitary facilities. The latter has a considerable impact on the health of the inhabitants. In line with the ongoing concern of the urban slum conditions and slum dwellers wellbeing, this study took a personal observation approach and secondary reports view of the experiences and health situation of urban slum dwellers in Lagos State. The focus of the study was specifically Makoko which is one of the urban slums in Lagos Mainland Local Government in Lagos State. According to findings in this Paper, almost 27% of the people in Lagos Mainland Local Government live in this urban slum, and many of them faced high health risk. The study also discovered that among other factors, income and cultural factors took the leading roles in the decision to live in a slum settlement.
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