Squatter settlements have impacted on the social and economic dimensions of the urban environment. This aim of the study is the assessment of the socio-economic impacts of selected squatter settlements within the Port Harcourt municipality. The objectives are identifying the causes of squatter settlements growth within the Port Harcourt municipality; assess and examine the social and economic impacts of the residents of the squatter settlements; and suggest possible solutions to the challenges posed by such settlements in the municipality. The study adopted purposive and simple random sampling techniques and key informant method for collection of data. Two waterfront communities namely: Bundu and Nembe Waterside communities were chosen for the study. A total of 150 respondents (75 respondents each) were interviewed from the selected communities in the study area. The study found that the major causes of squatter settlements formation and growth are low income of residents, cheap house rent and unoccupied marginal lands in the waterfront areas in the municipality. The study also discovered that the social and economic impacts of squatter settlements on the residents are criminal, thuggery and urban gang activities, pollution, lack of drainages and access roads, lack of basic neighbourhood infrastructure and services, substandard housing conditions and 93.2% of them earn between N18,000 and N48,999 monthly showing low economic status. However, to improve the quality of life within the Bundu and Nembe Waterside communities, the study recommended that proper landuse management and planning should be carried out to manage, control and direct urban growth and development, the declaration of the communities as improvement areas for urban renewal programme and using collaborative planning approach to carry out the planning and management of the communities to improve the residents quality of life and environment.
: Socio-economic Impacts, Squatter Settlements Formation and Growth, Waterfront Communities and Urban Planning
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