For an LIC city you have studied, discuss the attempts to manage the shanty towns Ed Martin

In Sao Paolo, shantytowns, also known locally as favelas are everywhere. There have been many mitigation strategies over the past few years, some of which have been considerably more successful than others. At first, the government thought that they would be able to remove people from their makeshift accommodation and move them into proper housing. The living conditions of all the people would improve, and as the land they live on is often dangerous for a number of reasons, they would be much safer too.

The first and only place in which this idea was attempted was Paraisopolis. Unfortunately, it backfired massively. The government thought that the funding supplied would be enough to move most of the people out, and improve the living conditions of the rest, but as most of the people don’t have any money at all, they could not nearly afford the move into the new buildings. Some felt a strong emotional attachment to the area, and therefore did not want to leave. This was due to the strong sense of community that they felt whilst living through hardship together, and they thought they would lose this if they left.Many charities have been set up specifically to target these areas of the city, and many large charities such as unicef do huge amounts of work and pour resources into to cleaning up favelas in Sao Paolo.

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One example is a sport program set up by Rexona Ades, that is based in Heliopolis. It provides volley ball equipment in order for children to improve their outlook on their lives and as a tool for anti-crime education. Another example is a charity set up a plan also in Heliopolis called Brincar that aims to improve the kindergarten play areas in the favela, and it educates teachers on how to teach the children to play in way that will develop their social skills well. It also runs free washing facilities where people not only go to wash, but to see each other as a social event.Some organisations have a different approach to changing the lives of the people in the favelas.

They realised that none of the shantytown clearing attempts would work unless you knew what the people in the shantytowns actually wanted to change about their lives. These NGOs introduced a system whereby people could the people could be represented whilst important decisions where being made so that they could have a say in government and non-government plans. Most of the time they offer micro-loans to kick start small businesses.This is the best way of mitigating shantytowns as it has the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty and get people out of poverty all together, as opposed to just supporting them whilst in poverty. This greatly improves their quality of life and affects others around them, as there is more money in the area, having an effect on all the people in an area of a shantytown.

Collaborations between NGOs and the government normally aim to improve the access to water, waste and sewage removal systems, and electricity. Often proper building materials are also supplied so that people have better, safer and more secure houses.