NGO calls for upgrade of slums to reduce migration

Chieshe said that the NGO was focused on bridging the gap between slum dwellers and government to improve the availability of housing to low-income earners and access to land.

Internally Displaced Persons In Nigeria

The Initiative for the Support and Promotion of Human Shelter (ISPHS), an NGO, has called on the government to upgrade slum communities in state capitals to reduce migration to city centres.

The Director of the group, Mr Desmond Chieshe, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja.

Chieshe said it was paramount to bridge the existing gap between slum dwellers and those in city centres.

He said that slums had continued to grow in developing nations, especially in Nigeria at rates too rapid to be ignored.

He also said that slums existed in most parts of the country such as Nyanya and Lugbe in Abuja and Iyana-Opaja in Lagos, and other parts of the country.

"Slums are characterised by lack of access roads, improved water and sanitation, land tenure, low quality housing and low standards of living.

"With such inadequacies, slum dwellers are subject to hunger, illnesses, crime, unappealing environment and overcrowding.

"This situation will continue to worsen if nothing is done to improve the condition of slum dwellers.

"Slums need their own leaders with the interest to serve as the bridge between them and government.

"These leaders will make their stance obvious enough to get the attention of the government. It is through these leaders that the government will channel any provision of social amenity.

"These leaders will become the face of the slums and enter into negotiation with government to reduce their sufferings and gain recognition in policy decisions,” the director said.

He expressed worry at the rate at which slums were "eating up the heart of the cities’’ but were perceived to be invisible.

"ISPHS does this through advocacy, lobbying, capacity building and policy engagement to ensure that this invisible is visible among all,’’ he said.

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