1.1 BACKGROUND TO STUDY
Urbanization is often described as a fundamental transformation in the scope, size and ecological features of a given society.
This is often characterized by increased commercial activities, population and increase in demand for basic infrastructure. (Sokoh, 2015).
According to the United Nation, urbanization is defined as movement of people from rural to urban areas with the population growth equating to urban migration.
Urbanization is increasing in both the developed and developing countries (UNFPA, 2001).
Urbanization often occurs as individuals relocate in order to improve their search for job opportunities, education, housing, and transportation.
Although, urbanization is the driving force of modernization, economic growth and development, there is increasing concern about the effects of expanding cities, principally on human health, live hoods and the environment. (UNCED, 1992).
Yet among the many benefits of urbanization is also the problem of inadequate housing and accommodation.
Emphasis on the process of urbanization intensity pressure on resources, environment and it’s ecosystems. (Bradbury, 2009).
The urbanization of the developing world began to accelerate in late twentieth century (Timberlake, 1997).
The unprecedented growth of the town in the developing countries of Africa and the rest of the world is not without it’s consequence, both in social, political and economic spheres. (Aderinto, 2001).
Olaguaju (1988), stated that through, urbanization is good for industrial growth, it is not without social, economic and political effects.
Abumere (1994), opined that, Nigeria is the most urbanized country on the African continent.
He asserted that this claim is based not so much on the percentage of the urban population but on the magnitude and spread of urbanization across the country.
The paradox of Nigeria urbanization is, while the urban growth of population are ballooning, the resources to manage the cities are dwindling.
This mismatch between rapid urban growth and the growth in resources is at the root of the persuasive urban decay in Nigeria, characterized by urban poverty, inadequate infrastructural facilities, ill managed urban environment and severe urban insecurity. (Yahmed et al, 2002).
Despite their low level of economic development, the new, poor mega-cities still grapple with the same adverse urban externalities that have troubled western cities for centuries, such as traffic congestion, contagious disease and crime. (Edward, 2013).
According to Sokoh, G.C (2015), the urbanization in Nigeria like most other developing nations is a consequence of the “push” of the rural areas, and the “pull” of the town.
He also stated that, in Nigeria like most other developing countries, the growth of the tertiary sector is often a symptom of poverty and stagnation rather than economic development.
Urbanization, in most of African countries is characterized by a growing gap between employment opportunities and demand, and an ever-increasing shortage of urban services and facilities which are accessible to a diminishing share of urban population.
The effects of urbanization on a growing urban centres include housing and accommodation, unemployment, electricity problems, lack of portable water, inadequate transport facilities, over population, increase in crime, environmental degradation (Udo, 1982).
According to him, the problem of unemployment is a state where a physically fit person that is willing and able to employed does not have any job to do.
Other effects includes poverty, pollution, lack of food for the increasing population. (Encarta, 2007).
Yahmed et al (2002), stated that evidently housing inadequacy and accommodation has termed out to be of the major problem that growing urban centre like Asaba face.
The rapid growth of Asaba, has resulted in the large influx of people from all walks of life.
It has been observed that, rapid urbanization and inadequate provision or investment in staff housing by the government have compounded the problems of inadequate in Asaba.
Abumere (1994), cited that, in 1917, the British colonial administration posed the township ordinance which provided for the creation, constitution and administration of all towns in Nigeria.
He also stated that, there categories of town were created-first, second and third class. Lagos, the Nigerian capital city at that time was the first class time.
There were eighteen second class towns, twelve is southern Nigeria and only six in northern Nigeria.
The third class towns were as many as fifty. It is also important to note that, this township classification guided the colonial administration in the distribution of amenities and other development infrastructure. Asaba town was among the third class towns.
According to Mabogunje (1990), he asserted that, the foundation of comprehensive approach in urban development was not effectively laid by the British colonial administration.
Nigerian urbanization has been applied in one form r the other for a fairly longtime now.
Bairoch (2015), stated that, in the developing countries, streams of people are continuously drifting into towns and cities crowding into slums, leaving behind a destitute, miserable side.
Lack of infrastructure is one of the most pressing problems in Nigerian cities (Verma et al, 1991).
Significant proportions of the houses in major towns and cities have no access to electricity, pipe-borne water or hygienic toilet facilities.
The proportion of existing urban housing stock that is dilapidated or is in need of major repairs is estimated at 22.3 percent nationwide, while about 3million housing units are required to meet the back log of housing needs and replacement of substandard ones (Onibokun, 1987).
In many Nigerian cities, the city centres, the city centres are decaying without any programme of rehabilitation while new urban peripheries develop without planning or the necessary infrastructure.
Another aspect which the study revealed was that many small firms and enterprises could not afford the cost of providing their own basic infrastructure become marginalized, with very low productivity.
The situation is consistent with the “incubator hypothesis” which shows that the location of small firms is influenced by the availability of utilities and other essential services (Adetoye, 2015).
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The increase in the size of population and the number of urban places is a worldwide phenomena arising from similar causes and producing similar effects. (Larkin et al, 1980).
Aderinto (2001), stated that three groups of causes have precipitated the rapid urbanization in recent times.
They are political and social changes, economic development and agglomeration economies.
According to Udo (1982), political, economic and social changes have led to increase in the total urban population. this political economic and social changes have resulted in large scale migration from the rural areas to the urban areas thereby creating the problems of inadequate housing and accommodation, pollution of all kinds, traffic congestion, environmental degradation, shortage of food, increase in waste generation, insecurity, breaking of social vices all over the Globe, and unemployment amongst other. (Udo, 1986 and Encarta, 2011).
Sokoh, (2015), stated that, yet among the many benefits of urbanization is also the problem of inadequate housing and accommodation.
In the developed world, the effects of increasing urbanization exists but the magnitude when compared with the developing world tends to be low, this is because of the high level of technology (Onokerhoraye, 1994).
In analyzing the problems of urbanization between the developed nations of the world and the developing countries, the high rate of migration that takes place from the later to the former for better life, goes a long way to show the magnitude of problems associated with developing countries (Onokerhoraye, 1944).
Many Nigerian cities are exhibiting similar growth pattern (Mabogunje, 1992). Though, inadequate housing and accommodation exists in developed world, but when compared with Africa, it takes a worse dimension. So are the other effects that are associated with increasing urbanization. (Remi, 2003).
Focusing on Asaba, the same problems exists. The problem of accommodation is increasing as the number of people looking for accommodation outweighs the number of houses available, hence the rents paid on the houses are therefore so high (Sokoh, 2015).
The problems and challenges posed by the rapid urban growth in Nigeria are immense. More easily observation and perhaps very frightening are the general human and environmental poverty, the declining quality of life and the underutilized as well as the untapped wealth of human resources.
Housing and associated facilities (Such as water, electricity, waste disposal) are grossly inadequate. (Adepoju, 2015).
Environment deterioration which is a consequence of rapid urban growth is caused primarily by inadequate urban infrastructure and social service, haphazard development and urban growth pattern that do not take into consideration the future urban development (Oguntoyinbo et al, 1993).
The major urban problem confronting the urban merging urban centres e.g Asaba can literally be grouped into two broad categories, namely structural problems and institutional problems. (Carter, 1997).
One of the major structural problems is the issue of land tenure system which in turn has direct impact on the Agricultural practices and hence agricultural development in general, others include settlement and population problems.
The institutional problems on the other hand include a wide range of facilities such as housing, employment, water supply, electricity, medical, educational and market system etc. (Carter, 1997).
Therefore, the bases of this study is to look at both the structural problems and the institutional problems with much emphasis on housing and accommodation, unemployment electricity, food shortage, pollution problems and to make recommendation based on the evidence from the field work.
1.3 AIM AND OBJECTIVES
The basic aim of this research work is to examine the effects of increasing urbanization on a growing urban centre using Asaba as a case study.
The aim may be achieved through the following objectives, to:-
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
The following null hypothesis will be tested in this study using appropriate statistical tools. The null hypothesis (Ho) states that:
1.6. STUDY AREA (ASABA)
1.6.1 Location and size
Asaba which is the capital of Delta state is situated very close to the River Niger.
It is bounded in the East by Onitsha, in the west by Ibusa, Asako to the North, while in the south by Oko.
Asaba is located between latitude 60111 53.2311 N (Equator), and longitude 60 431 42.4811 E of the Greenwich meridian). (Sokoh, 2015).
1.6.2 Cultural/Historical Background
Asaba has more than one popular tradition or origin, three of these seem to point out most tradition of many African communities, most especially West-African countries.
The then Bendel State Government under the military Governor of His Excellency Commodore Husani Abdulahi (NN, PSC) on September 1st 1976 proclaimed Asaba as the headquarters of the newly created Oshimili Local Government Area.
All these happened until the town was made the state capital in August 1991. (Asaba History and Development, 2015).
On the cultural aspect, Asaba like most tradition of other Ancestry. The first lineage is the people of an areas known as “Obodo Achallo”.
The second is that of the people of “Idum-odikpa”.
The third lineage consist of Nnebisi is descendants.
Asaba has a total population 49,725 people during the 1991 census. And in 2006 census, Asaba had an estimated population of 150,032 people. (Federal Office of Statistics, 2015).
1.6.4 Relief and Drainage
The relief of Asaba is a gentle undulating type. i.e, it is characterized by gentle slope. It possesses a relatively low terrain.
The area is drained by River Niger, which is characterized by meander sand bouts and swamps.
Asaba falls within the tropical rainforest zone. The vegetation here, is dominated by woody species with either close or open canopy.
The effect of climate is well reflected in the vegetation\ cover of this area. The vegetation is characterized with dense or thick foliage (covering).
However, the natural vegetation has been drastically reduced due to Agricultural, industrial, commercials, residential purposes as well as for other public or government activities such as schools, bank etc.
Asaba has a tropical type of climate. The cimate is influenced by two seasonal wind. These includes the tropical maritime (MT), and tropical continental 9CT) winds commonly known as south-west and north-east winds respectively.
The tropical maritime prevails over the area. It originates from the Atlantic Ocean as such, it is humid moisture laden winds. It prevails during the rainy season.
The area is generally hot and it is located in the tropics. It is characterized by mean annual temperature of 26.70c as well as the annual rainfall of between 1254-2032mm. Relative humidity and atmospheric pressure are high during rainy season.
1.6.7 Socio-Economic Activities
There is an influx of people from different parts of the country to Asaba as a result of its diverse economic activities.
These activities ranges from fishing, farming, trading been carried out in the area.
The fishing is done on the River Niger. Other activities include transport activities, public and governmental activities such as schools, banks, industries etc.
Asaba, thus,has become a place cohere people from different places within the country especially Delta State come to undertake various forms of economic activities as a result of increasing population that patronizes their businesses.
1.7 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This research work will clearly show the adverse effect of urbanization in Asaba town and will provide foundation for further research on growth and development of Asaba. It will also serve as a source of information about the study area.
This study will be of immense help to academicians, planners, geographers, urban developers, the government and most importantly the general public on the need to have basic knowledge on the negative impact\ of urbanization on housing and accommodation since, in an attempt to urbanize the region numerous problems such as traffic congestion, housing congestion, increase in crime rate among others have arisen. This study does not intend to break entirely into a new ground of research but to add to the readily existing literature and to fill the research gap existing on this topic an d to provide useful information for new research. It is believed that this research will go a long way in unfolding the deteriorating and decay effect of increasing urbanization on urban settlements to include surrounding rural areas. The findings from this research will also contribute immensely to nation building and societal development especially now that every region is becoming urbanized and civilized day by day.