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Informal Settlement in Johannesburg - Research Paper Example

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Name Student number Course Code Instructor INTRODUCTION Health pertains to the overall physical and mental status of a person. Physical health refers to an individual’s physical well-being, pertaining to having a sound body, while mental health refers to a person’s emotional well-being…
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Informal Settlement in Johannesburg
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Download file to see previous pages With each single factor in a community contributing to the general quality of life of each and every individual residing there. Dr. Trevor Dummer stated that: “Geography and health are intrinsically linked. Where we are born, live, study and work directly influences our health experiences: the air we breathe, the food we eat, the viruses we are exposed to and the health services we can access”. (Health Geography: Supporting Public health, Policy and Planning, 2008) Richards, et al. (2006) indicated in his paper, that according to the World Health Organization, “deficiency of water, electricity, sanitation, ventilation, food preparation and storage in informal dwellings are associated with a range of health risks and diseases.” This paper tackles the effects of the state of living and the situation of the informal settlers’ community in Johannesburg in Africa on a person’s or a resident’s physical and mental health. Specifically, this paper discusses the informal settlers’ situation in Johannesburg, Africa and its effects on the settlers’ health, thus, aiming to try to help establish a correlation between diseases and location, prevalence and how diseases spread, a main concern in the study of health geography. REVIEW OF LITERATURE According to Mathee et al (2009), urbanization is currently taking place in areas of concentrated disadvantage, meaning in areas where large numbers of urban dwellers congregate and live in informal settlements. Jo Vearey, in the book Migration and Inequality (2013) stated that South Africa which has long been associated with the movement of people and cross-border migration was related to labor migration within the agricultural and mining sectors. Migration into South Africa has increased since the end of apartheid and Johannesburg is one of the cities that became a destination for people from different parts of the country and even from outside the continent. In Johannesburg where the population is composed of 3.2 million individuals, inequality among inhabitants is rapidly growing. And because of rapid urbanization, housing and other services proves to be challenging which results to poor households still living in informal settlements, and occupying small brick and corrugated iron backyard dwellings and derelict inner-city buildings (Mathee, et. al. 2009). Few et al. (2004) stated that in the late 1980s to early 1990s, industrial buildings such as offices, factories, warehouses and bakeries were converted and taken over for residential purposes, with 5% of the dwellings found to be overcrowded, with some buildings housing as many as 72 people. He further stated that these dwellings often have very small rooms, densely occupied, having poor or no ventilation and insulation, lacking privacy, with inadequate lighting or light sources, having common access and circulation routes and generally have inadequate sanitation facilities and water supply. Johannesburg is considerably young, having been only established in the 1880s as an off-shoot to the discovery of gold in the area. The city is an interesting area to study African urbanization relationships pertaining to health, inequality and migration. Informal urban locales are generally associated with significant health concerns and consequences as informal settlements are recognized to be important and related to migration in cities (Migration and Ineq ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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