Friday, 29 October 2010

Niger Delta's urban development may leave 200,000 homeless

The Nigerian government has been heavily criticised by Amnesty International for mass evictions in the oil rich Niger Delta. Plans for urban development, and subsequent slum demolition, in Port Harcourt may leave as many as 200,000 people homeless.

In 2009, River State government began plans to rebuild parts of the city which involve the demolition of slums on the waterfront inhabited by tens of thousands of people. The local government hopes to develop the area to create jobs, boost the local economy and improve roads.

The development plans include an eight-screen cinema, a shopping mall and hotels based on a buy-out scheme, paying those who own the properties to relocate. However, the majority of those who have received compensation have nowhere to go. Amnesty International has raised concerns that most of the inhabitants could end up homeless unless they are re-housed.

"These planned demolitions are likely to plunge hundreds of thousands of Nigeria's most vulnerable citizens further into poverty.The government should halt the waterfront evictions until they ensure they comply with international human rights standards," said Amnesty's Africa Deputy Programme Director Tawanda Hondora.

Source: BBC News

For more news and expert analysis about Nigeria, please see Nigeria Focus and Nigeria Politics & Security.

No comments:

Post a Comment