Climate Adaptation in Informal Urban Settlement Is Everyone’s Responsibility
To proffer solutions and foster climate adaptation in Informal urban settlements, the center for research and development in partnership with the International Climate Change Development Initiative (ICCDI) Africa on Thursday, organized a stakeholders’ forum themed “Climate Adaptation in Informal Urban Settlements”.
According to the presentation by Dr. Muyiwa Adegun, there is a need for power symmetry to combat the issue because the issues affecting climate change are multidimensional. “It requires a robust agenda for addressing informality issues, urban design, and finance. These are very important because the issues emanating from climate change impact are multidimensional. They are multisectoral. Thus, we need more places from social sciences, natural sciences, design, technology, and others to come up with a research and evidence-based solution in addressing climate adaptation impact”
He further stated that some non-structural solutions needed to combat climate change can be gotten from the environment. “Some solutions to address climate change impact are derived from natural systems. That is why if you want to reduce the impact of temperature, you need to invest in forestation, tree planting, and others.”
Similarly, a fellow researcher, Dr. Elinorata Mbuya pointed out that because of the heat waves in informal settlements in the coastal and urban regions, some residents have resulted in the opening of windows, sitting outside for fresh air amongst others as a non-structural coping strategy. This according to her helps them deal with the heatwave that has become prevalent in the region. “The heat stress is increasing in coastal cities. But it depends on the collective decision and collective action by everyone to combat this”
She suggested that vegetations should be planted inside the house or on the walls of the house to cope with the heat.
An architect Wale Olusoga, a lecturer at the Federal University of Technology (FUTA) however, spoke on implementing the findings of the research in terms of architectural designs. He stated that there are limitations to actualizing the planting of vegetation on walls. He listed people’s perception, belief, aesthetics as an issue. He also listed the unavailability of blank walls, watering particularly in the dry season, and cost analysis as hindrances to the implementation. “People’s perception of this was an issue. The availability of a blank wall is also a problem. Now, it is very difficult to have a blank wall without windows.”
The break-out session at the forum saw recommendations from various groups on how climate adaptation can be mainstreamed in low-income informal communities. Some recommendations include sensitization and awareness of the habitats of these communities, NGOs intervention in the fight for human rights and the vulnerable. To also encourage climate adaptation in informal urban settlements, the government needs to include the dwellers of these areas in the policy-making procedures and allow for full participation in decision making, which should be from bottom to top.
The forum which took place at the NSPRI Annex conference hall had in attendance some key stakeholders from the government, like the Lagos State Urban Renewal Agency (LASURA)
Written by Damilola Akinsola ICCDI Africa Volunteer.