Emmanuel Adegboye, Managing Partner, Utopia Lagos
Raymond Gold, Community Advocate, The Nigerian Slum/Informal Settlements Federation
As our city faces this global pandemic, we need to up our approach to things and embrace changes that are certain.
Considering vulnerable groups such as the urban poor in Lagos, If there is a form of support to come through direct bank transfers, they cannot benefit from the initiative because the majority are un-banked. This is the time to address issues like this in our cities, there should be more efforts to ensure access to services.
COVID-19 has forced communities to look into the essence of resilience
As palliatives are being shared across communities in Lagos, it can be difficult for officials to access water communities. In situations like this, these communities are forced to develop their own coping mechanisms such as local wash stations in the absence of pipe-borne water.
The rural-urban gap is clear in our cities
We need to think of this from an empowerment standpoint and in the long term, consider ways people can easily access basic infrastructure and services. While doing that, we also have to address the reasons people leave the rural communities and ultimately reduce the burden on urban areas.
What can we take into the future?
The complicated systems in urban communities make it vulnerable to stress and creates the difficult challenges in urban poor communities. We need more community-focused initiatives after the COVID-19 pandemic in our cities. The private sector and entrepreneurs have proven to be a catalyst for change through this pandemic. Moving forward, it is important for the government to create a thriving environment for change.