Tackling Nigeria’s congested urban slums
Nigeria is still very much stuck in the “Third World” categorisation and the fact of its existence tells us all that this is the correct designation. Thus, it is not proper to aspire to tag onto the mainstream of technology without first solving this country’s vexing problem. Nigeria’s vexing problem is congested urban sprawls that are full-bodied slums and these slums are growing each passing day. What’s the point of aspiring to be a United Nations (UN) Security Council member if Nigeria cannot properly dispose of solid and liquid sewage that fester in urban city centres?
Nigeria’s urban slum sprawls can be solved by a rather low-technology approach; simply pull down these urban slums and implement local lebensraum because there is landmass enough for this purpose. Homesteads must not be congested affairs anymore; spacing between one homestead and its nearest neighbours must be separated by vegetated or arboreal lots that ensure ventilation and illumination. Since high-tech central sewage processing plants are not available, individual homestead underground septic-tank systems must be built and periodically cleaned. This gentrification is what is needed right now across Nigeria’s urban centres.
Redesigning and rebuilding Nigeria’s urban centres would occupy Nigerians for a long time and the positive domino-effect fallout would help economic recovery immensely.
Nigeria’s government must not pander to the illiterate mass anymore; if you are illiterate, then you cannot be invited to participate in this urban renewal project because those who lack basic education are always at fault over basic sanitation matters and personal hygiene. Really, slum dwellers experience perpetual cycle of healthcare challenges, and so, it vital to clear the slums so those resident there can be healthy.
Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory should latch onto this concept immediately. When the streets are clean and devoid of sewage and vermin, foreign capital would flow in and the economy would grow.
- Sunday Adole Jonah,
Minna, Niger State.