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Living on the margins: Socio-spatial characterization of residential and water deprivations in Lagos informal settlements, Nigeria

Author / Authors:

  • I.R. Aliu
  • I.S. Akoteyon
  • O. Soladoye


Habitat International, Volume 107, 2021, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.habitatint.2020.102293


The third world countries are generally noted for ubiquitous informal settlements (slum communities) where a large number of urban residents live on the margins of precarious poverty, infrastructural decay and social deprivation. However, existing studies have largely glossed over individual community deprivations and allowed spatial heterogeneity to be masked by gross generalization. Using geospatial information systems (GIS) and slum deprivation index (SDI) this study described the residential and water deprivations of 15 selected slum communities in Lagos Nigeria. Based on residential conditions we found that majority of the residents lived in one-room apartments and in neighbourhoods with about 20 persons per dwelling. The residents were without access to improved drinking water, and lived in dwellings surrounded by solid waste piles. The slum deprivation index (SDI) indicated that residents experienced critical residential and environmental deprivation and water, sanitation and hygiene deprivation. The spatial autocorrelation transformation of these slum deprivation indices evidently showed that social deprivation was wide spread in Lagos slums with over two-third of the communities being highly deprived. We therefore suggest that urban stakeholders should be more focused on the highly deprived communities. The study has critical planning implications for urban management and sustainability.

Keywords: Residential conditions; Urban marginality; Social deprivation; Spatial autocorrelation; Slum communities; Lagos Nigeria

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