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Urbanization in Nigeria

The population of Nigeria has grown significantly and this among other factors has lead to fairly rapid urbanization. The cities in Nigeria, especially Lagos, have had a hard time keeping up with the influx of people leading to a housing crisis, issues with waste disposal, water access, air pollution, and diseases often related to the increase in drug use. From now to 2020 three countries; Nigeria, India, and China, are projected to account for 37% of the world’s population growth. 7 of the biggest cities in Nigeria have had a 1000% population increase in the last 50 years. 10.1% of Nigeria’s population was urban in 1950, about 60% of Nigeria’s is projected to be urban by 2020.

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In the late 1970’s about 200,000 housing units were planned to accommodate the influx of people but under 15% of the planned units ended up getting built. A similar plan was made for another 200,000 units in the mid 1980’s but only about 19% of those units ended up getting built. From 1960 to 1980 the total housing requirements in Nigeria rose by a little over 3 million units. Nowadays in four of Nigeria’s largest cities there are an average of 3 people per room. It is estimated that it would take about 100 million US dollars to fix the housing crisis.

2nd Picture

This many people living so close together has lead to issues with access to clean water and in turn, waste disposal. In Lagos, Nigeria’s biggest city only 9% of people have access to clean piped water. Almost 40% of people in Lagos’s source of water is street vendors. This lack of piped water means that most people do not have toilets in their houses. In fact there are no cities in Nigeria with a central sewage system. Human waste is often dumped in uncontrolled landfills on the sides of the road. These can sometimes get onto the roads themselves and block traffic. The wastes are often burned in order to prevent this which can lead to fire accidents, the spread of disease, and contributes to air pollution.

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38% of the manufacturing industries in the country are located in Lagos. Values far >0.02 part per million limits of automobile exhaust recommended by the World Health Organization have been reported in most Nigerian cities. 612,000 tons of dust are kicked up in the air by motor vehicles per year for unpaved roads, which are most of the roads in Nigeria. Nigeria has about four vehicles per 1000 inhabitants, the lowest level of motorization in West Africa. Only about 30% of all categories of roads in Nigeria are in good condition and 70% are in various stages of disrepair. 584,000 tons of smoke particles were emitted into atmosphere for burning about 80 million m3 of fuelwood.

4th Picture

Cities have furthered the spread of disease as well. Much of this is due to drug use. Of the commercial motorcyclists in Zaria city, North West Nigeria, 25.8% use marijuana and 24.5% use solution. The transmission of HIV/AIDS went up in the 1980s and 1990s along with urbanization. Cities can lead to a change in the social norms including sexual activities and the use of illicit drugs. Hospitals report >15% of admissions are due to malaria, especially in urban areas. Many soil transmitted diseases have made a comeback due to urbanization including helminthiasis, schistosomiasis, and lymphatic filariaisis.

5th Picture

Due to rapid population growth many cities in Nigeria, especially Lagos, have had a hard time keeping up leading to a housing crisis, issues with waste disposal, water access, air pollution, and diseases often related to the increase in drug use.