Con Case: African Urbanization

This was my second case. My thesis was that overcrowding would lead to dirty air and water, leading to a sickly population.

Contention 1: Urbanisation is too fast for Africa:

The first is a lack of jobs: 

The World Bank looked at urbanisation in Africa and the massive rise in unemployment in Africa. They find that people travel to cities, looking for better employment, yet economic growth is not fast enough to keep with urban growth. Underemployment and temporary employment are one of the most common types of employment. Many of the people who go to cities for better employment were farmers, and that agrarian skillset isn’t a common need in Urban Africa. 

The impact is economic decline:

Unemployment leads to an economic downturn. This downturn can lead to investors pulling out of the nation, leading to further unemployment. When people have less disposable income, businesses move to more affluent areas, or shut down altogether, and the resulting poverty can lead to anti-government sentiment, which can lead to fundamentalism. All of these factors will shut down African economies, and chaos may ensue. 

Contention 2: Urbanisation leads to lower health. 

First is increased use of dirty energy:
According to, energy consumption in Africa is going to increase by 62% by 2040 at current rates. At that rate, only 9% of energy will be clean. With more urbanisation, energy demand will skyrocket, and the increase of manufacturing jobs will only accelerate that growth. Setting up connection to oil is much easier and more cost efficient in Africa. In addition, oil refineries are common in West Africa. Shutting down these plants will be unprofitable and unpopular, and therefore dirty energy will burgeon in Africa. 

Second is pollution:

According to the UN, 2 million tons of human waste are disposed of in water every day. In slums, only 44% of people use improved sanitation, as it is their only option. In addition, many factories dump nitrates and chemicals into the water, in a continent where only 35% of urban dwellers have access to clean drinking water, and where half the water is lost due to improper infrastructure. Developing nations lack adequate water treatment facilities. In slums, sanitary services are seldom heard of. This leads to rampant dumping, and increased poll

The first impact is disease. 

Many diseases, such as E. Coli, are communicable through unclean water. Others, such as malaria, are mosquito borne. Mosquitos thrive with standing water, warm conditions, and improper sanitation, and therefore it is no wonder that malaria has been becoming more common in urban areas. In 2016, Lagos, Nigeria had 1.2 million cases of malaria. Growth of shanty towns in Africa decreases hospital access rates. In addition, water prices in slums are 5000% of rich areas, according to the UN. Not only will people be killed off by improper sanitation, but they will also succumb to weakened immune systems.

The second impact is lung quality:

According to UNICEF, deaths from air pollution has increased by 57% in three decades. The increase in deaths is mainly correlated to the increase in air pollution stated above. In addition to this, increase in smog leads to lower lung quality, which translated to 11,200 deaths in Nigeria in 2018. 

The third impact is climate change:

Climate change will lead to rising sea levels, which ultimately leads to a higher population density. This subsequently leads to less sanitary conditions, and skyrocketing land prices. Climate change also will move cities more inland, decreasing the available space for farming, and degrading farmland, reducing African economies. In addition, 300 million people have homes at risk of flooding, and climate change will increase that. Climate change will exacerbate former urban problems by increasing the population density, and create new ones.

Thus we affirm. 

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