A Critical Analysis of the Advantages and Disadvantages of Urbanization in Malawi

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A critical analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of urbanization in Malawi In Malawi urbanization is defined as a process whereby the functions of a rural settlement increasingly become oriented towards non-agricultural activities (United Nations Malawi, 2011). Malawi is rated as the fastest urbanizing country in the world with 20% of its population classified as urban and it is estimated that about 44% of the country’s population will be urban by 2015 (Gondwe, Feng & Ayenagbo, 2011). It is argued that urbanization causes changes in the livings conditions under which people live and work. Some of these changes are positive (advantages) while others are negative (disadvantages). The positive effects include; improving housing conditions and provision of enhanced amenities. The negative effects include; stress on amenities, congestion and urbanization of poverty (Kawonga, 1999). Therefore, this essay will briefly explain these using real and valid examples from Malawi. To begin with, provision of better amenities as an advantage of urbanization. It is said that increasing urbanization provides communities with social and cultural benefits as well as access to education and health services (Hammond, 1985). This is evident at Nkhorongo in Mzuzu near Luwinga Township. With the development of the area many services are now being located there. For example, Mzuzu Academy, Trust Academy, Good Samaritan Internet Café and some Tobacco grading Companies that provides jobs to the masses. Improving housing conditions is another advantage of urbanization. It is noted that urbanizations brings with it innovations in technology and modern ideas and ambitions in the people engulfed by what are said to be urban areas (UN Habitat report, 2010). To meet the demand for shelter by the ever increasing urban population, Habitat for Humanity and Malawi housing Corporation dedicates itself to building low cost but high standard houses for the less privileged urban population....
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