The Squatters of Port Harcourt, Nigeria: Their Identity, Wants, Characteristics and Policy Options

Kio-Lawson, Datonjo


“Waterside” settlements in the city of Port Harcourt have a long history and tradition. Housing famine occasioned by the astronomical growth in the city’s population is said to be responsible for their springing up and expansion. While they are today part of the geography of the city, the problems associated with them have been nightmarish to every successive government in Rivers State. The effort of the government at different times to deal with these problems had yielded nothing. The  plans put forward by the present administration of Hon. Ameachi to tackle the problems had met stiff opposition from the residents of the settlements thus leaving us with the serious question; Why? In view of this question, this paper has taken a clinical study of the “Waterside” settlements in the city. The aim is to provide answer to certain basic questions that has been hanging on our brows; who are these people, how are they fairing, what do they want? Through answer to these questions, the paper has made suggestion as to “what should be done” to tackle the problems of “Waterside” settlements in the city. This paper was concluded after intense days of field research. The information from the field coupled with the residual knowledge of the researcher as well as input from the works of previous scholars made the study a success. Primary data were collected through face-to-face interview with residents of the settlements

Keywords: Environment, Housing, Port Harcourt, Settlement, Waterside.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-607X ISSN (Online)2225-0565

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