MANAGING THE PROCESS OF RELOCATION AND RESETTLEMENT OF INFORMAL SETTLEMENTS IN URBAN AREAS: THE CASE OF ORLU IMO STATE

MANAGING THE PROCESS OF RELOCATION AND RESETTLEMENT OF INFORMAL SETTLEMENTS IN URBAN AREAS: THE CASE OF ORLU IMO STATE

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Abstract

Nearly every industrializing country has faced the overwhelming demands for housing, employment, urban services and the problems of proliferating informal settlements. Different interventions have been employed including relocation end resettlement, to deal with the problem of informal settlements, with little success es everywhere informal settlements are growing.  Following an in depth analysis of the data obtained the main find ngs of the study reveal that there was no plan in place before relocation and resettlement of orlu Informal settlement started, nor were community involved in the decision making process resulting in unnecessary hardships for the community. Little attention was paid to the social patterns and inter linkages within the community so as to minimize disruption in the new location, while issues of financing and costing of the project were not satisfactorily

considered by the lead actor. The study thus found that there was no laid down procedure for the relocation and resettlement of informal settlements and the institutional arrangements in place were not adequate resulting in the management of the process of relocation and resettlement not being carried out optimally.

Guidelines at both national and local level are proposed, with ti e main aim of ensuring relocatees benefit from the relocation and resettlement exercise. At the national level policy guidelines propose that programmes be kept as small as possible, and the institutional arrangements in place take account of all possible actors, their roles and responsibilities being carefully spelt out A Resettlement Plan, where the components of the programme are noted should be drawn up, clearly requiring the participation of the community.


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CHAPTER ONE

 INTRODUCTION

1.1        Background of the study

Since the beginning of the new millennium the world’s population has increased exponentially fast with urbanization being the majority of this growth (Davis 2007, p1). In 1950 there were only 86 cities in the world with a population of over one million. Today there are 400 and it is estimated that this will increase to at least 550 by 2015. We are therefore facing a future where the urban settlements will eventually outnumber the rural (Davis 2007, pp1-2). Furthermore this urbanization is mainly taking place in the developing world. In countries such as Mexico and India megacities with more than 8 million inhabitants and hypercities with more than 20 million inhabitants have arisen (Davis 2007, pp2- 5). This in turn has led to high proportions of informal settlements, also referred to as slums, shantytowns, barrios and favelas, in the marginal, leftover land of these cities. Slum areas vary greatly in size, age and composition, between countries as well as within their cities (Beardsley & Werthmann 2008). However, they all share several common characteristics. For example; inadequate access to clean water, lack of proper sanitation facilities, poor structural quality of housing, housing situated on hazardous land which might be destroyed during climate extremes and a lack of secure tenure. Furthermore informal settlements are often the epicenters of urban poverty (UN-HABITAT 2005, p7). In 2001 almost one billion people of the world’s total urban population were living in slums and if no major actions are taken this will have increased to two billion by 2030 (UNHABITAT 2003, pv).

HABITAT 2003, pv). In the past the main strategy of local governments has been to simply ignore or clear and eradicate the slum areas, forcing their inhabitants to move (Beardsley & Werthmann 2008). However this only shifts the problem elsewhere. Other strategies have focused on either upgrading the informal settlements on site or relocating all the residents to a ‘greenfield’ area, where housing and services are provided (Del Mistro & Hensher 2009, Kostner & Nuijten 2011). These strate- 6 2012-08-17, Mina Karlsson gies main obstacle is trying to implement and transform slum areas according to the structure of the formal city ignoring the social structure that already exists (Kostner & Nuijten 2011). In 1978 The United Nations agency for human settlements (UN-HABITAT), was established with the mission to promote socially and environmentally sustainable human settlements development and the achievement of adequate shelter for all (UN-HABITAT 2012). In 2003 they published the report The challenge of slums, which is a global step forward in acknowledging the rights of people living in slum areas. It also stresses that the main focus should lie on creating human sustainable solutions, best reached by bottom-up approaches (UN-HABITAT 2003)

Nigeria has also witnessed rapid urbanization and the inadequate capacity to cope with the housing needs of people in urban areas have contributed to the development of informal settlements. Living in these settlements often poses major health risks. Sanitation and drinking water quality are often poor, with the result that residents are, exposed to a wide range of unhealthy living conditions. Overcrowding can contribute to stress, violence and increased problems of drugs and other social related problems. The environmental quality of an urban area has a serious effect on the health condition of residents. The negative consequences of poor environmental quality affect every aspect of their lives as well as the livability and health of the community at large. In many parts of the world millions of people live in informal urban settlements especially in developing Nations where lack of resources and inadequate infrastructural facilities lead to degradation of the environment. The issue of informal settlements in Nigeria has been, aggravated by high rate of migration from other cities, people in search of better lives (Manny, 2001)

1.2        Statement of problem

What is evident from reoccurring  demolitions and evictions is that the city authorities sought to remove the informal settlements from their current sites. However, when dealing with the informal settlements there was/is no laid down procedure for relocation and resettlement and where resettlement has occurred each case has been carried out on an ad-hoc basis. Within the Government of Nigeria there is no Ministry dedicated to the settlement of the landless, with numerous settlement schemes under its belt(Woju , 2001).

 This generates the problem of trying  to alleviate the difficulties associated with landlessness, poverty, overcrowding, and the results of human and man made disasters. It has been noted that while several of schemes by government have improved the well-being of those affected by the resettlement, in general terms these efforts have not met their desired outcomes (Tunde, 2005).

Cernea (1999) observes that this could be because expectations have been unrealistically high, especially in view of the available resources, the high cost of projects, reliance on prolonged public sector intervention and the constraints placed on the private initiatives of the resettlers themselves. For those in the informal settlements relocation has been both voluntary and involuntary through forced evictions or negotiated relocation and resettlement projects and where specific projects requiring relocation have been carried out the target groups were not the final beneficiaries of the projects. This has been the case of major citie in the country.

1.3        Objective of the Study

Successful relocation and resettlement requires that good planning be put in place It involves a process that begins when an informal settlement is targeted for relocation. long before any actual movement is made. This study shall therefore seek to:

1. To examine the reasons for and the process of relocation and resettlement of informal settlements in imo state .

2. To identify and examine the existing management framework for the relocation and resettlement of informal settlements in imo state .

3. To evaluate the outcomes and impacts of the resettlement processes.

4. To propose modules or approaches for the optimal management of relocation and resettlement of informal settlements.

1.4         Research Questions

This research seeks to investigate the procedures in place for relocation and resettlement of informal settlements in Africa. The main study questions are therefore as follows:

1. How has the process and method of relocation and resettlement of informal settlements been carried out in Nigeria?

2. What have been the outcomes and impacts of the resettlement processes?

3. What modules or approaches for the optimal management of relocation and resettlement of informal settlements can be proposed?.

1.5        Significance or rationale of the study

The study upon completion would serve as a guide to policy makers in managinfg the informal resettlement in the state also the study would further widen the literature on the above topic adding specific information peculiar to the study area

1.6       Scope and Limitation of the Study

The study is limited to the study of the process involved in the management of relocation and resettlement of residents of informal settlements in Imo state. Although the relocation of residents of informal settlements can be traced to pre-independence period, this study will look at more recent cases of relocation and resettlement As relocation has been carried out from public and private land, the study will aim to look at the process carried out during the relocation and resettlement in Orlu, Imo state, which provides a case of public and private resettlement efforts. The fact that Orlu is located in Imo state is significant as it is in Imo state that lack of decent and affordable housing for the poor and disadvantaged is most felt and therefore critical. Imo state is home to over 168 informal settlement, which continue to grow in number and size. The relocation and resettlement of the informal settlement dwellers to Orlu was carried out at a time when informal settlements were mushrooming in major urban areas of the country and the policies for dealing with informal settlements were in transition - from outright demolition and clearance to the more sympathetic and humane resettlement (RoK, 2003). Further the study of Orlu provides a case study that has undergone all stages of relocation and resettlement and it is possible to look at the impact of the relocation and resettlement process.


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