Nightmares Affecting Slums Dwellers In Nigeria

As the population of the world continues to balloon significantly, the mushrooming of slums in some areas is evident. Africa is perhaps one of the continents recording the highest population growth. Precisely, Nigeria happens to be one of the countries significantly affected by this problem. In fact, according to the United Nations, at least1.1million people in Lagos alone live in a slum. Some other 15 million people cram in lagoons southwest Nigeria.

The infrastructure, funding, and space for expansion of major cities like Lagos are limited. And this forces the vast majority migrating into the city to make squeezed shanties on any open land to get housing. As a result, these shanties develop into slums. A small area meant for a hundred people, is filled with hundreds more. And so living under these conditions becomes somewhat challenging. In this piece, we shall take a look into the significant nightmares facing slum dwellers in Nigeria.

  1. Insecurity in the slums

If you were to take an aerial view of Otodo Gbame, Badia or Agege slum, you would realize shanties build a few inches away from each other. As it is, space for clear demarcation lines is only but a dream. Sometimes, what they have between structures and the outside world are thin iron sheets and polythene papers.

In the same vein, if you take a closer look, you will also see that the slums lack security lights. As a result, the slum dwellers are always on high alert as anyone can attack or steal anything at any time. The dark aisles are likewise a nightmare. Women and small girls fear rape. As for the men, their lives are neither safe. They time and again fall in the arms of muggers.

  1. Lack of clean water

In 2014, about 50% of Nigerians were living in slums, according to the World Bank Development Indicators. And as aforementioned, space meant for a hundred homes often shelters an extra 900 people. This undoubtedly results in poor hygiene.

Consequently, due to squeezed neighborhoods, there are no spaces to build proper toilets and bathrooms. People often end up answering the call of nature in inappropriate places. On the other hand, the massive population results in lack of clean drinking water even for those living in waterfronts like Makoko. Getting water for simple tasks as cooking is an issue. Therefore, cases of food poisoning and the spread of water-borne diseases are always prevalent in the slums.

  1. Poor drainage and sanitation

Slum-dwellers in Nigeria face significant hurdles due to the lack of proper drainage system. When it rains, the water has nowhere to go, and any available space, including homes and aisles, get flooded. Secondly, the open latrines have no mechanisms to direct waste from the slum, so they fill up and ooze out into the surroundings. All who live there are affected by this and often get sick.

  1. Frequent demolitions

In 2017, the Itedo and Otodo Gbame dwellers woke up to the roaring sounds of bulldozers. Loads of shelters suffered, and over 30,000 people had to flee. Consequently, people lost their belongings and source of livelihood. Mothers and children were the worst hit by the evictions. According to the Nigerian government, the demolitions were to create space for constructing 21st-century skyscrapers and beaches.

In conclusion, slum-dwellers in Nigeria live a miserable life. No human should be living in such environments in a country exporting tons and tons of crude oil. The issues highlighted above bearly scratch the surface, and solutions are speedily needful. The Nigerian government should at least consider improving the living standards of its people now that it received a £230m seizure from Jersey. Nevertheless, the slum improvements should provide an effective relocation process, ensuring no person becomes homeless.




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