Headline, September 30 2021/ POVERTY : ''' '' RICH SLUM - POOR SLUM '' '''


''' '' RICH SLUM - 

POOR SLUM '' '''

AROUND THE WORLD OVER A BILLION PEOPLE live in slums - in rickety homes without property rights or basic services such as running water or reliable electricity.

' To each according to his nationality ' : Most of the world's worst-off dwellers are in poor countries but shantytowns exist in rich ones too.

ONE STUDY OF MUMBAI BETWEEN JUNE and July last year - before India's second wave hit, found 54% of the city's slum-dwellers had Covid-19 antibodies, compared with 16% of those in formal settlements.

Winnie Muhonja has faced many difficulties in her life. Covid-19 is just the latest. Having grown up in Kibera, a huge slum with 300,000 residents in the middle of Nairobi, she is used to the presence of disease and the absence of money.

Ms. Muhonja, who is 25, has lived with her sister since she left school eight years ago. She has two jobs but cannot afford 1,000 shillings [$9.30] a month to rent a mud house for herself and her one-year-old son ''I just hope one day I'll get a chance to get out of Kibera,'' Ms. Muhonja says.

Almost 4,000 miles away in Madrid, another young woman longs to escape her neighbourhood. In Canada Real, a shanty town of about 8,000, Douaa Arikez is in her final year of school and studying hard.

Life in Europe's biggest slum is not nearly as grim as it is still precarious. Electricity outages this winter left at least 4,500 people there without heat for months, at a time when Spain was hit by record snowfalls.

Without light and unable to charge laptops and mobile phones, students struggled with online learning. '' I want to finish my studies, start working and get out of here,'' says the 17-year-old.

With so many other problems in their lives, neither Ms. Muhonja and Ms. Akrikez has much time to fret about Covid-19. But the pandemic means that policymakers are concerned about them. Around the world over a billion people live in slums, in rickety homes without property rights or basic services such as running water or reliable electricity.

Most of the world's worst-off slum-dwellers are in poor countries but shantytowns exist in rich ones too. Those who live in them tend to have informal jobs : hawking snacks, for example, or cleaning richer people's houses.

In richer countries, this means they miss out on government support such as furlough schemes. In poor countries, they get little support of any kind. In Nairobi, curfews have been imposed to slow the spread of covid-19. Those who have broken them in their efforts to make enough money to survive have been beaten up by the police.

Before the pandemic, policymakers worried most about poverty outside cities. Rural places often lack basic infrastructure such as roads and internet connections. But with an airborne virus in circulation, the risk of working outside tending livestock or ploughing fields is lower than cleaning houses. And even with no money coming in, subsistence farming keeps stomachs full.

It is hard-up folks in cities who have been hit hardest by covid-19, both economically and in terms of their health. In May over a third of the respondents in Kenyan cities told the World Bank that they had skipped at least one meal in the previous week, compared with 27% of those in the countryside.

Among the city-dwellers 15% said they were unemployed, almost certainly representing a bigger shock to urban areas. By the end of this year the bank predicts the pandemic will have pushed 150 million more people into extreme poverty, defined as living on less than $1.90 a day. The new poor are more likely to be in metropolises than previously.

Covid-19 has forced city authorities to acknowledge slums, both for the sake of their inhabitants and their neighbours. The disease spreads fast when people live at close quarters.

Students from Canada Real pile into buses to get to schools in and around the capital. Kibera is nestled between posh residential areas of Nairobi, where many slum-dwellers work.

Development wonks tend to focus on poor people in poor cities, such as Muhonja, rather than poor people in rich cities, such as Ms. Akriez. That makes sense. The former are much poorer. Kibera is the sort of slum depicted in fundraising letters from charities : huts made of mud and sheets of corrugated iron; rubbish heaped on unpaved streets.

Extreme poverty makes it harder to stay healthy. Ms. Muhonja shares her one-room shack with five other people. Social distancing is all but impossible. They have no running water. Instead they buy jerry cans of water for drinking and cooking and pay to use communal baths.

The Shame and Sadness of this publishing continues into the future. The World Students Society thanks The Economist.

With respectful dedication to Mankind, the Leaders of the world, and then Students, Professors and Teachers. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society :  wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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