O desafio urbano de África

NAIROBI – A minha mãe, bem como a sua mãe, a sua avó, e assim por diante, nasceram na pobreza, na aldeia rural de Rarieda, no Quénia. Também eu nasci na aldeia, e ali vivi lá até ser cruelmente atingido pela fome, quando tinha dois anos. Privada de comida, de dinheiro e de oportunidades, a minha mãe fez o que milhares de habitantes das aldeias africanas fazem todos os dias: levou-nos para a cidade em busca de uma vida melhor. Mas, em virtude da escassez de empregos e de habitação em Nairobi, acabámos em Kibera, um dos maiores bairros de lata de África.

Localizado a apenas alguns quilómetros do centro de Nairobi, Kibera é um bairro fortemente poluído e densamente povoado, composto por estradas informais e barracas com telhado de chapa ondulada. O governo do Quénia não reconhece Kibera, não existe um sistema de esgotos nem uma rede eléctrica formal. Os seus moradores, cujo número está estimado entre algumas centenas de milhares e mais de um milhão, não existem oficialmente.

Kibera é apenas um exemplo das consequências da rápida urbanização que está a aumentar em todo o mundo. Mais de 44% dos habitantes de países em desenvolvimento já reside em cidades. O Population Reference Bureau estima que, em 2050, apenas 30% da população mundial irá permanecer nas zonas rurais. Mas poucos pararam para pensar nas implicações que esta mudança tem para famílias como a minha.

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