Two fundamental challenges to escape the nightmare: external shocks and health and sanitation.
May 11, 2018
Climate change will play an important role in Africa’s future, especially for health: droughts are getting longer and stronger, floods are getting more intense in the west, rainforests are getting smaller in equatorial areas and the ocean acidification is increasing.
They are threatening agricultural production and food security and they do nothing but incentive migration flows. The risk is that about 200 million people could shortly become “eco-migrants”, that is people who are forced to leave their houses because adverse climate conditions don’t allow them to survive in their countries anymore.
According to UN, in Africa about 50 million eco migrants will migrate within the continent or abroad by 2050.
Demographic growth will represent a real challenge also for health and sanitation: if data tell us that today about 40% of urban population is moving towards a more adequate access to medical assistance, we must consider that, because of increasing population, lots of people will converge in slums.
Added to worsening climate and a known difficulty in managing sewage and structural systems inside big urban areas, this process is supposed to worsen health emergency, that will probably turn into one of the hardest points in whichever future strategy or urban planning in Africa.
We must wonder – and it’s not less important – who, inside this growth-and-poverty whirlpool, will be able to face medical costs: in lots of African countries, post-colonial course led to a private health system, where medical assistance keeps on being a privilege for few.
In slums, lots of women give birth to their children inside their shacks, children can’t be correctly monitored, and their births are managed in an environment lacking basic hygienic conditions.
We are going to talk deeply about slums in next articles…