Urban housing quality and its health implications in Nigeria: an example of Lokoja, Kogi State, Nigeria
Developing countries are faced with qualitative and quantitative housing inadequacies. Living conditions in many urban areas are squalid and pose serious health challenges on the inhabitants. This study examines the housing quality and its health implications in Lokoja metropolis. Both primary and secondary data were employed. A structured questionnaire was designed. An average of forty questionnaires was distributed across each of the three residential areas identified in the city to elicit information about the types of residential units occupied by the residents of the city and the facilities available in their houses such as toilets, electricity, and drainage. Secondary data was obtained from documentary sources. Descriptive and inferential statistics were employed to analyze the data. The findings reveal that more than 60% of the inhabitants live in indecent houses. The cost of housing is exorbitant to an average household in the city. This may advance the reasons substantial numbers of urban residents live in slum areas which are affordable to them. Further analysis reveals that the quality of housing varies across the residential areas identified in the city. Similarly, environmental health challenges vary across the three residential areas in Lokoja. The study recommends that low cost housing scheme should be established in Lokoja as this may reduce housing problems in the city. Also, this will enable the urban residents to live in a healthy environment and consequently improve the standard of living of urban dwellers in Lokoja.
Key Words: Housing, Quality, Poverty, Facilities and Planning