ANAMBRA State House of Assembly has called on Governor Willie Obiano to direct the Commissioner for Housing and Urban Development to develop sustainable policy to solve urbanisation problems in the state.
The call was contained in a resolution which was sequel to a motion sponsored by Mr. Douglas Egbuna representing Onitsha North 1 constituency and seconded by Mrs Beverly Ikpeazu-Nkemdiche of the Onitsha South 11 constituency during plenary on August 21.
Deputy Speaker, Mr. Paschal Agbodike, who presided over the plenary, had put up a motion while the lawmakers unanimously adopted it through voice votes.
Mr. Agbodike described the motion as wonderful, stating, “with this we can always be at the forefront if the government can embark on urbanisation to make our cities better for us all.”
According to Mr. Egbuna the future cities will no doubt offer immense possibilities to enrich the lives of inhabitants even as the challenges are stark.
“To make the best out of this inevitable urbanisation, good policies must be designed and developed that will contribute to more sustainable building practices.
“And also contribute more positively to the environment as well as create mini-cities within cities to meet the anticipated rising demands of the urban populations.”
Mr. Egbuna expressed worries that major cities in Anambra such as Awka, Onitsha and Nnewi were already witnessing these challenges especially, with respect to needing homes, offices and amenities to suit people’s rise and lifestyle.
According to him, in 2009, a significant change occurred in the world, as the UN observed that the number of people living in urban areas (3.42 billion people) surpassed the number of people living in rural locations (3.41 billion people).
“And for the first time, the world became more urban than rural and by 2050, according to the same report, it is expected that the world population will rise to 10 billion and two-thirds will be dwelling in urban cities.
“This global issue of social mobility from rural to urban cities will bring about major problems in the various cities.
“Whether they are crowded into high-rise dwellings or scattered around the edges of sprawls or ghettos, people will definitely need homes, offices, and amenities to fuel their rise and lifestyles.
“I am concerned that urbanisation problems carry with them hefty price tags in terms of pollution, use of virgin resources, wastes and edging out of native plants and animal population.
“Owing to the envisaged physical and population density of cities, there will be devastating threats in both financial loss and deaths,” Mr. Egbuna said.
BY SUNNY A. DAVID