Africa’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. Africa’s 1000 million people, there are already 310 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.
DOWNLOAD: EXCERPTS FROM AFRICA OUR HOME (PDF)
Good city bad city (page 178-179)
Shopping bag stories (page 180-183)
DOWNLOAD ACTIVITY FOR SCHOOLS AND YOUTH GROUPS (PDF)
ACTIVITY FOR EDUCATORS - URBAN LIVING An environmental audit activity - What are food waste, water use, and energy use for heating and lighting like at your school and how could they be reduced?
DOWNLOAD URBAN LIVING ACTION SHEETS (PDF)
DOWNLOAD URBAN LIVING DIRECTORY (PDF)
For further details of helpful organisations listed in the Action Sheets download the PACE DIRECTORY. Please note this was compiled in 2007. You may wish to search online or contact firstname.lastname@example.org to ask for updates to specific contacts.
Urban Living films are also available from PACE on DVD, email@example.com. The following are the sections of the DVD which are applicable to this topic:
URBAN GREENING - SESHO - Soweto Epilepsy Self Help Organisation, South Africa
RECYCLING PLASTIC - So Afri Eco Women’s Group, South Africa
ECOSAN TOILETS - EEPCO, Tanzania - www.eepco-tz.org
RECYCLING PAPER - Leratong crèche, South Africa
Click on the links above to find out more about these projects around the Internet.
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