• Sunday, June 16, 2024
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German foundation seeks inclusive governance for slum dwellers

urban slums

A German foundation, Friedrich Elbert Stiftung (FES), has urged the Lagos State Government to allow citizens contribute to policy-making processes for the effective development of the economy.

Remi Ihejirika, FES representative, made the call at the presentation of the ‘Just City Project’ in Lagos recently.

According to her, if the people are allowed to discuss their challenges with the government, it will help solve various challenges affecting the communities.

She cited that in the Sogunle area of Lagos, there was no power supply for five months, and the people mobilised and protested against the outage.

“This forced Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company to reconnect power supply to the area. The Just City project aims to allow alternative voices to be heard on challenges affecting communities and to be able to tackle them.

“This project is about community mobilisation, resource mobilisation, making a decision, inclusive, participatory, democratic decision and listening to alternative voices,” she said.

Ihejirika noted that the foundation was partnering with non-profit organisations such as Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa, See Hope, and Oworo Youth Forum to drive the project.

She, however, noted that efforts to meet with the government to discuss issues and solutions to challenges facing some people living in the slum part of the state had not yielded results.

She said that the foundation had visited some communities including Ajegunle, Epe and Ayetoro, a coastal suburb in Lagos and promised to meet with more communities if the state government would grant the stakeholders audience.

Muyiwa Agunbiade, a representative from the University of Lagos, who gave an overview of the project said that a just city should be fair, inclusive and equal for its inhabitants.

Agunbiade said that the project identified the micro struggle of the people including the public transportation system, the problem of clean water and sanitation as well as right to have land.

He said there was also the struggle for affordable housing and liquefied petroleum gas retail in Lagos.

Meanwhile, some participants from the communities narrated their experiences of eviction from their homes and how they were able to handle the issue.

Also, FES previewed a 30-minute video on Ayetoro community where occupants who have lived for over 35 years are appealing to the state government not to evict them. NAN