The Effects Of Urbanization Towards Social And Cultural Changes Among West African Countries

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Dr. KM Ashifa


The West Africa society is rapidly becoming Urban as a result of multitude push and pull factors going on in West
Africa. The study examines the rhythm of urban life marked by collective consumption which influences cultural
values, pervades dressing styles of the wider social environment and health in West Africa. This has also generated
urban health crises among city dwellers and the rural areas. The review showed that the pace of urbanization is
unprecedented with cities such as Lagos having annual urban growth rate of 5.8%. Urbanization in West Africa is
mainly demographically driven without commensurate socioeconomic dividends and benefits to the urban
environment. This has created urban health crises of inadequate water safe supply, squalor and shanty settlements,
sanitation, solid waste management, double burden of diseases and inefficient, congested, and risky transport
system. In conclusion, when managed carefully, urbanization could reduce hardship and human suffering; on the
other hand, it could also increase poverty and squalor. Some laws need to be amended to change the status of poor
urban settlements. Urban health development requires intersectoral approach with political will and urban renewal
program to make our urban societies sustainable that promote healthy living.

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