Weekly news roundup

Informal settlements keep growing in South Africa’s Mother City

Population growth, urbanisation and inadequate planning have led to the proliferation of slum settlements in Cape Town. The metro area contains almost as many informal settlements as the rest of the Western Cape province, despite the fact that Cape Town metro occupies less than 2% of the provincial land. This poses challenges for the planning, housing and future of the city.

Culture of gun violence in Arusha

The impact of guns coming from Tanzania-Kenya border regions and Somali bases are beginning to be felt in Arusha, as hand guns increasingly cause deaths. Most of these deaths are fatal shootings by acquaintances, leading to the categorisation of the Arusha culture as ‘guns and roses’. Mariam Said of Tanzania Daily News argues that those in the mining and gemstone industries are at the forefront of this violence.

Ugandan government set to build 6000 houses for urban poor

6000 houses are set to be built for low-income earners in seven of Uganda’s principal towns and cities in the next five years. The $250 million project will be financed by Indian Bank Exim on government land, sources told New Vision. The Ugandan National Housing and Construction Corporation will manage the project which aims to combat the severe housing shortage in the East African country.

Building safety revisited in Accra

At a seminar in Accra last week, entitled “Building Safety in Ghana: Aftermath of Melcom Disaster,” an engineer attributed the collapse of the Melcom shopping mall to preventable building security inadequacies. The residential flats that had been converted into a mall collapsed in November last year, killing at least nine people. According to Desmond Aryee-Boi, a structural engineer with the Ghana Institution of Engineers, the main problems were the substandard quality of building materials and the lack of supervision

Tuk Tuks to be banned in Mombasa

A move towards recent regulation to ban tuk tuks from Mombasa’s streets is being met with protest from tuk tuk drivers. The proposed regulation is an attempt to decongest the coastal city. Tuk tuks are popular transportation in the city as they are cheaper than ordinary taxis. However, tuk tuk drivers see their income threatened by this prospect. The regulation will be imposed as of September 1 this year if protests are unsuccessful.

Climate change threatens African coastal cities

As global climate change becomes an increasing reality, a study has warned that African coastal cities are particularly vulnerable, especially to flooding. Global flood damage could cost up to $1 trillion per year for coastal cities; developing countries will bear the worst of the cost. The most vulnerable African cities include Abidjan, Algiers and Alexandria.

Lagos set to demolish 1800 buildings

In the wake of numerous building collapses claiming lives in Lagos in recent months, 1800 buildings have been sealed by the state government and are awaiting demolition. Distressed buildings with poor structural integrity are a risk to residents and violate the physical planning and urban development laws of the state. While some buildings are still set to undergo integrity testing, other demolitions have already begun.


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