LOW-COST HOUSING: ALTERNATIVES TO FORCED EVICTIONS

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By Victoria Ibezim-Ohaeri

Recently, densely-populated Lagos slums, Makoko and Badia painfully faced the wrath of the Lagos State government’s bulldozers, rendering thousands of families, including women and children homeless during the rainy season. Forced evictions, including the demolition of areas predominantly lived by the poor have increasingly become an urban re-engineering tool in Nigeria, with spiraling effects on social security, employment, health and human rights. These demolitions are often executed without prior notice and provision of compensation, or alternative accommodation to the affected populations.  


Low-income sub-divisions in Interstate 35 North, San Marcos, Texas, United States provide compelling evidence that it is possible, and socially advantageous to promote and protect the rights of the poor to live in the city. Most houses in the low-income sub-divisions are made of wood, Sheetrock and other low-cost building technologies including mobile  homes with strong trailer frames, axles, wheels, and tow-hitches. Apart from meeting their housing needs, the low-cost houses present viable alternatives to families unable to afford the soaring costs of  traditional site-built homes. This strategy has also effectively checked slum production in the United States.

Isn’t this model replicable in Lagos slums as an alternative to the recurrent state-sponsored homelessness? We need answers!

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Henry NigeriaAdeyemi Onafuye Recent comment authors
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Adeyemi Onafuye
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Adeyemi Onafuye

It is! But who really cares where the displaced live? All the demolisher cares about is the popularity he would get for ‘cleaning up the mess’in the city. Demolishing is one of those covers the government hides under rather than take on more pressing matters. Perhaps it costs less to pull down structures than to build good roads and provide quality health care and education. If they care about the people, alternative housing would be priority. But they don’t.

Henry Nigeria
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Henry Nigeria

Nigeria should choose their own speed for reforming rather than allow external institutions reform us with their forceful reforms!

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