chapter  6
24 Pages

Poverty and the Environmental Health Agenda in a Low-income City: The Case of the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA), Ghana: Jacob Songsore and Gordon McGranahan

ByMetropolitan Area (GAMA), Ghana Jacob Songsore and Gordon McGranahan

A conceptual model that seeks to integrate these polar opposite perspectives is the Urban Environmental Transition (UET) model (McGranahan and Songsore, 1994; McGranahan et al, 1996; and McGranahan et al, 2001). The UET model argues that the nature of environmental problems in cities changes with levels of economic development. Cities have two general categories of

environmental risk to human well-being. There are those that directly affect health and those that operate indirectly by impairing ecosystems that humanity depends on (Smith and Lee, 1993). As a general rule, the urban environmental hazards that are immediately health threatening are those found in poor homes, neighbourhoods and workplaces of cities in Africa and other developing countries. Among these are inadequate water supply and sanitation facilities, poor and crowded housing, smoky kitchens, insect infestation, contaminated food, piles of uncollected garbage and bad drainage (McGranahan and Songsore, 1994).