Urban Slums

Topics: Slum, Poverty, Urban decay Pages: 2 (616 words) Published: April 8, 2008
Urban Slums: Reason for Concern?

The definition of a slum varies from one form to another depending on the background or country from which an individual comes from. Someone from a rich country may define slums as old run-down buildings, whereas someone from a poor country will define slums as un-serviced haphazard constructions. The universal definition of a slum as found in the dictionary is said to be a heavily populated urban area characterized by substandard housing and filth. Slums are seen as a purely physical phenomenon. Slums are populated by two groups of people, the poor and the strangers. Since in slums there is a lack of cleanliness, serious diseases can spread easily and quickly. Slum inhabitants go through many problems, a few being the lack of public transit, constant migration, lack of water, no sewage or solid waste facilities, pollution, and shelter shortages . They also face poor ventilation, due to a lack of windows and electricity. They also tend to establish homes on unused land that is usually privately owned or government owned land. Therefore a concise definition for a slum would be a crowded urban area, marked by poverty, where living conditions are very poor. Urban slums exist and extend all the way around the world. They are in desperate need of attention. There are already organizations with the sole purpose of making a difference for the people that live in slums. According to the World Bank Group, the National Slum Dwellers Federation (NSDF) and other organizations of the urban poor have forged networks of community-based organizations and partnerships with a number of local and state authorities. Although this is one of many organizations set out to eliminate slums, we cannot help those who are unwilling to help themselves. We can only give the people of slum communities a fresh start and the means to change their way of living. We cannot make them work. Personally, I think if it could be properly funded, we should set up...
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