Urban Slum Development In Nigeria: A Study of Aba South Local Government Area of Abia State
Housing problem is one of the challenges facing mankind today and are more critical in Less Developed Countries (LDCs) such as Nigeria, where slums have grown as a seemingly inevitable part of the urban area. Slums accommodate the majority of the population of cities in developing countries and it is estimated to be home to over 800million people. Aba South Local Government is the hub of Aba metropolis, the commercial nerve centre of Abia State, with land size of 49.551 km2 and a total population of 427,421 according to 2006 Census. The main objective of the study which focused on urban slums in Aba South Local Government Area of Abia State was to examine slum development and its effects in the study area. The major factors as discovered, contributing to slum development in the area include rural-urban migration, unplanned neighbourhood, over- population, non-compliance with laid down rules and illiteracy. The study observed that the resultant effects of this are overcrowding, encroachment on government land, poor housing, poor sanitation, outbreak of diseases, insecurity of life, and decline in property values amongst others. It was further established that some attempts had been made to upgrade the slum neighbourhoods, but the attempts were biased towards improvement in infrastructure services and gave less attention to housing development. As a remedy to reduce slum expansions and development in the study areas, it is recommended that, at the local level, the planning authority should excises their powers by efficiently controlling development in the area. At the state level, government should provide and implement enabling laws and regulations, improve waste disposal, drainage and sanitary system and also decentralize development programmes and projects to help reduce rural-urban drift. The proposed recommendations, if applied, will help to control slum development and its effects in the study area and Nigeria at large.
Keywords- urban slum, housing, slum development, unplanned neighbourhood.