|Sustaining the Future: Economic, Social, and Environmental Change in Sub-Saharan Africa (UNU, 1996, 365 pages)|
|Part 1: Economy and society: development issues|
|Urban environmental management and issues in Africa south of the Sahara|
It is clear from this survey that the majority of urban residents in Africa live under unacceptable environmental conditions. However, these conditions do not act as a deterrent to further cityward migration. Instead, large numbers of migrants continue to flock to urban areas in an effort to improve their lot and thus make it even more difficult to cope with the present problems.
The problems include deforestation of surrounding regions to supply fuelwood or charcoal; the reduction or depletion of water supplies in surrounding regions; polluted water supplied to low-income areas; water, air, and noise pollution; inadequate collection and inappropriate disposal of wastes; and poor housing conditions.
The many causes of these problems include rapid rural-urban migration, a lack of finance, and inadequate institutions. However, some authorities contend that the problem is mainly structural - that what is listed above is a manifestation of something that is more serious and deep-seated.
A number of remedies have been suggested. A thorough institutional reform is essential and lies at the heart of any changes that might be proposed. In addition there is need for reform of the financial system and a review of standards in the building industry.