Commotion in Cairo

Despite past efforts to restrict the growth of urbanization throughout Egypt it is currently still rapidly increasing. This expansion of settlements began happening shortly after WW ll. The Egyptian officials at that time attempted to limit the amount of development that was taking place. At first, they tried to build housing outside of the city in more rural areas but the problem with this is that there wasn’t a high demand for people to buy houses or even rent apartments.

informal housing cairo

The annual growth of people in cities like Cairo is around 2.3% which is a lot of people per year. This can be seen as a good thing for the economy because the people living there and or moving would be bringing in money. In contrast, the increase in population also causes a downfall. The problem is with jobs being taken away from people who were originally there causing conflict amongst people.

Due to the amount of people living within Cairo, it has caused a major overpopulation of poor or homeless people who are living in the slums in the city. The people living in those conditions do not have the basic resources like water and sewage to use the bathroom. This situation of living is referred to as a ramshackle and over 850,000 people are experiencing this type of living inside of Egypt. Unfortunately, not many people have a choice whether or they live in this condition. One reason is because the people are poor they do not have enough money to move to another location and there is also more food in the city than in the surrounding area.

MDG : Egypt : Women buy bread from the window of a bakery in Cairo

Another reason is the fact that the Nile River, the main water source, experiences drought conditions periodically.

(shown above) The lightest purple color is the most dense area, which is where the capital of Egypt is that being Cairo, one of the biggest cities. Not very clear on this population map is one of the reasons for the significant growth. The Nile river that runs right through Cairo which is one of the main ways people get their water. In the past, parts of the 4,258 mile Nile have unfortunately dried up causing the problem of internal migration. The people who lived in some of the rural areas and countries cannot grow crops without some type of irrigation. This is part of surviving because water is so important considering some of the hot temperatures the country experiences.

Cairo, like many cities in developing countries, is struggling to deal with an increase in population. As people move into the city looking for job opportunities in order to make money, water shortages, food shortages, as well as standard housing shortages are all inevitable. Although, the government has attempted to alleviate these problems by building cheap housing outside of the city it has not been successful. But, there is a new idea to try and make “new towns” that are self-sufficient and far enough away from the big city of Cairo so people cannot commute with ease.


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