Urban LivingAfrica’s population is growing fast. More and more people are being born, and more and more are surviving to adulthood. In twenty years, there may be twice as many people in Africa as there are today. Of Africa’s 810 million people, there are already 300 million people living in cities, and Africa’s cities are growing faster than anywhere else in the world. City living may be the future for mankind, but it can be a tough life. All cities have dangerous areas, which are overcrowded and ugly, with dirty air and water. Over 70% of Africa’s city dwellers live in slums or shanty towns. With so many people trying to live in the same area, jobs are not easy to find and there are high demands for basic facilities like water supplies and waste disposal. Meanwhile, cities act like a drain on the resources of the local area, giving little in return. The food and fuel that feed a city, not to mention all the imported and factory produced goods that are available, have often travelled a long way, in diesel trucks, in ships, or even aeroplanes.
The challenges of urban living include getting enough clean water, fresh food and sustainable energy whilst finding safe and efficient ways to deal with the waste produced by millions of people. In this topic, you will find examples from cities across Africa where people are successfully improving their lives by recycling rubbish, regenerating wasteland, and making city living healthier.
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Urban Living films are available from PACE, firstname.lastname@example.org. The following are the sections of the DVD which are applicable to this topic:
Greening the city: Tree-planting in Siyathuthuka Park, Soweto (Food and Trees for Africa, South Africa) © Sarah Watson
There’s no such thing as waste: Fuel briquettes made from charcoal dust (City Garbage recyclers, Nairobi, Kenya) © Sarah Watson
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Last Updated on 2/1/2013