Urban development: Lagos State partners with UK
By Luqmon Balogun, Lagos
The Lagos State Government is forging collaboration with the Government of the United Kingdom, UK, through the Future Cities Programme to develop an Urban Renewal Guidelines for the State.
These guidelines adopted a participatory, community led approach and advance strategies for resettlement and slum upgrading.
Other guidelines include; regeneration, redevelopment and public private partnerships, expected to be implemented starting with a pilot, and results of which would taken back into the Urban Renewal Policy.
At a visit to Otto Iddo Community in Ijora area of the State by the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing and the Lagos State Resilience Office team lead by Chief Resilience Officer, Dr. Folayinka Dania, leaders of the community expressed the challenges they suffered and efforts made by residents to overcome them particularly flooding.
Dania explained that ”the implementation of the new Urban Renewal Guidelines, would start with Otto Community in Ijora axis of the state which has been picked by the United Kingdom Government as a pilot community to domesticate the newly developed Urban Renewal for the State.”
The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Laing, said that ”the UK government was passionate about human development and that is why the guidelines were designed for communities most affected by climate change.”
According to her “I am here to see the impact of Climate change, particularly flooding, on this community. Climate change is a problem globally with the temperature rising and extreme weather events (flooding) affecting many from going about their businesses and daily livelihoods.”
”The State chose Otto because we believe if we can do something in a small community and it works, we will be able to replicate it across the state,” she stated.
After completion of the guidelines, Laing explained that they would visit the Community, to assess the situation and come up with strategies for implementation of the developed guidelines.
She however, mentioned that the State Government and Otto Community were working to proffer solutions towards ensuring better life for the people.
Laing also stressed the fact that they would be willing to support the State in the development of a business case which would help bring in investors for the implementation of the Urban Renewal programme.
The Deputy High Commissioner, Ben Jones also said that ”the move is a plan that would help to ensure that we have buildings and other facilities that would be resilient to climate change impact within the State.”
Jones said that they were working with Lagos State not to have only a green bond that can help build infrastructure but also climate insurance that can help the community to respond to the impacts of the climate change, so that when flooding occurs, these communities can have flood proof infrastructure for residents.