Shanty Towns Essay, Research Paper
Shanty towns are a huge problem all around the world. The persistent poverty, rapid industrialisation and the burden of urban shanty towns general massive social and economic impact. The many problems include – Prostitution, Social Injustice, Death by preventable diseases, Infant mortality and Child labour.
One of the worst examples is Sao Paulo in Brazil. Migrants who move in every year amount to about half a million people who live in the poverty stricken areas and temporary accommodation. Approximately 40% of Brazilians live in these sort of areas and most have a lack of or a limited supply of water and other basic essentials.
Houses are made of any available materials some have two rooms, one for living, one sleeping. There would be about six children and no running water, sewage pipes, gas, electricity and others.
Disease is also a huge problem, 15-18 million children are effected by high levels of lead in their blood and AIDS is a huge killer in shanty town areas. Six hundred million urban residents in third world countries many India and Africa live in dwellings “of such poor quality and with such inadequate provisions of water, sanitation and drainage that their lives and health are under continuous threat.” The graph below shows levels of pollution in Brazil and shows that these levels are above normal and safe levels.
Another of the problems is unemployment. Most are self employed and use cheap or recycled materials. Many are unskilled and are no use to society as there are no educational services for the shanty town dwellers. Women and children work as street peddlers or to work in services e.g. shoe cleaners, selling clothes. Much of the work is labour intensive with use of few tools for those who can’t afford them.
Many people have access to piped water however it is not uncommon for up to 45 families to share one tap or well. The Brazilian government estimates that approximately 25 % of families have no toilet of any kind. Old sewage pipes tend to crack and spill the excrement over the streets. It can also contaminate drinking water supplies. Rubbish is dumped in the streets and is rarely collected. Many children die each year from diseases brought on by decomposing refuse.