Monday, September 28, 2020

Global Inequity: Across the Board. 8 Cities with the World's Largest Slums. September 2020

8 Cities With the World's Largest Slums

  • Manshiyat Nasser, Cairo.
  • Cite-Soleil, Port au Prince, Haiti.
  • Khayelitsha, Cape Town, South Africa.
  • Tondo, Manila, Philippines.
  • Dharavi, Mumbai.
  • Ciudad Nezahualcoyotl (Neza), Mexico City.
  • Kibera, Kawangware and Mathare, Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Orangi Town, Karachi, Pakistan.

THE UNITED NATIONS defines slums as areas within a city lacking clean water, sanitation facilities, adequate living space, durable houses and/or housing security. But while slums like Canada Real Galiana in Madrid or Rocinha in Rio de Janeiro have a reputation for violence, addiction and poverty, slums can also be hives of industry and ambition. Here are some of the largest slums in the world, and the challenges their residents face.

1. Manshiyat Nasser, Cairo
Population: 262,000
Dubbed "Garbage City," this slum at the base of the Mokattam hills in southeastern Cairo is home prdominantly to Coptic Christians who work as Zabbaleen, or garbage collectors. As such, it's a hive of recycling, and vital to the functioning of the Egyptian capital, yet most homes lack sewers, electricity or running water. A move to slaughter all of Egypt's pigs following an outbreak of swine flu in 2009 hit Manshiyat residents particularly hard, since they use pigs to consume organic waste and earn extra money by selling the meat. A remarkable mural looms over Manshiyat's streets, painted in pieces on dozens of buildings in 2016.

2. Cite-Soleil, Port au Prince, Haiti
Population: 300,000
In Cite-Soleil, criminal gangs outgun the police. Health care and education facilities are scarce and sub-standard. And until 2017 the district was effectively sequestered from the rest of the Haitian capital by the armed soldiers of MINUSTAH, the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti, deployed to wrest the slum from the control of criminal gangs.

3. Khayelitsha, Cape Town, South Africa
Population: 400,000 to 1.2 million
The last census pegged the population of this sea of ramshackle wood and iron shacks at 400,000 in 2011, but activists estimate the real number of residents could be three times that. It was set up in the 1980s as a ghetto for black workers who migrated to Cape Town in search of jobs during the apartheid era, though it grew rapidly after the oppressive system was abolished in 1994. Some residents must line up for hours at communal water pumps to fill a bucket or two that must serve all their needs for the day, thousands of homes aren't equipped with toilets, unemployment runs around 70% and local police say they handle four murders every weekend due to criminal gangs and other violence.

4. Tondo, Manila, Philippines
Population: 600,000
Built on a dumpsite on the outskirts of metro Manila, Tondo has a population density of 80,000 people per square kilometer. Dirty water and other hygiene issues mean that disease is rampant, and sorting through the rubbish for items that can be sold or recycled is the only source of income for many residents who are lucky if they earn $2.50 a day. In one area of the slum, known as "Happyland," residents eke out a living by collecting chicken scraps from the garbage and boiling them to make a dish called "pagpag" for sale to other destitute slum dwellers.
Population: 1 million

5. Dharavi, Mumbai

Population: 1 million

Romanticized in the Oscar-winning film "Slumdog Millionaire," Dharavi is a sprawling warren of narrow lanes, interconnected shacks and single-room living spaces that double as factories. Residents work as potters, leather tanners, weavers and soap makers amid the slum's open drains; some estimates peg the teeming community's annual sales as high as $1 billion.

6. Ciudad Nezahualcoyotl (Neza), Mexico City
Population: 1.1 million
While some contend that Ciudad Nezahualcoyotl, also known as Neza, has evolved from a slum into a suburb, the brick-and-mortar houses are scattered among improvised shanties, and the neighborhood is considered extremely dangerous, even by drug war-plagued Mexico's standards. Community action prompted the government to formalize land titles, start garbage collection and build some other key infrastructure. Now, about 70% of residents work within the area, which is Mexico's most densely populated municipality.

7. Kibera, Kawangware and Mathare, Nairobi, Kenya
Population: 1.5 million
More than two-thirds of the residents in the Kenyan capital live in three slums crowded into just 6% of the city's land. Kibera, for instance, is a sprawling community of 15 interconnected villages of mud huts and tin shacks. Though infrastructure improvements like piped water, tarmac roads and streetlights are improving lives in Kibera and other Nairobi slums, criminal gangs, political violence and extrajudicial police killings are still serious problems.

8. Orangi Town, Karachi, Pakistan
Population: 1.5 million to 2.4 million
This cluster of 113 settlements on the outskirts of Karachi, on Pakistan's western coast, sprawls across some 8,000 acres and is home to at least 1.5 million people, though many estimates peg the total closer to 2.4 million. Residents live in houses made from concrete blocks, with eight to 10 people sharing two or three rooms. Deprived of government services, the community has financed and built its own sewer system — with locals taking responsibility for maintaining it — and many residents are employed making carpets, leather goods and other products. But overcrowding and lack of access to clean water (or any water at all) contributes to health problems including malaria, drug-resistant typhoid and water-borne diseases like Naegleria fowleri, a brain-destroying amoeba.


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