Over the past few years, Engage Africa Foundation has created and executed projects and campaigns, in line with our mandate to combat and prevent the occurrence of non-communicable diseases in sub-Saharan Africa.
Engage Africa Foundation had an educational health seminar with the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners on the importance of proper city planning, for reducing chronic diseases.The audience enjoyed it. Here is what town planners and concerned citizens had to say about the seminar:
Tpl Mrs. Catherine Kehinde George
I think in a busy city like Lagos, we need more public open spaces, developed for neighbourhood recreation and maintained as well. Every resident should have access to recreational facilities, in every neighbourhood. This reduces juvenile crime, increases the feeling of well-being and encourages sound health and risks of heart related diseases, diabetes and obesity, and consequently longer life span!
Need to have more efficient public transportation in our cities. For Lagos, commuters have long journeys to and from work - travel time. Consequently, they hardly have time for exercise, recreation and meaningful family life.
Tpl Bisi Adedire
The government should try to create an enabling environment for people to be able to have their own houses, make land readily available at a cheaper rate, encourage and forcing landscape designs into their designing of houses.
There should be an enlightenment campaign on the importance of planning standards e.g setback, airspaces etc in order to promote the health of our people. Moreso, planning should be seen as a social service rather than a money making venture.
Mustapha Aishat Ibironke
More orientation should be given to people on the effect of NCDs in the various community, people in slum are mostly affected with NCDs, they understand the health conditions involve living in slum neighbourhood, but their normal language are "We are used to it". Please they need your support because they don't know they are dying slowly. Recreation centres (set out, open spaces) will work like a magic in various community. Transportation should be more effective.
Ms. Ebele Mogo, the good lord will increase your knowledge and understanding and am expecting more from the foundation.
Townplanners need to work closely with the transport ministry to create better running transport systems such as mass transit buses and trains with stations reasonably situated from homes of people to increase physical activity of people and less reliance on their most easily accessible personal vehicles which is at the expense of their health
Tpl Abolore A Osho
(Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development)
In my own opinion, I think it is not majorly about the design but the workability of the design. As planners we should be able to defend our design so that in the real life situation, it is workable.
So also we need to focus more now on the attitude of people towards our design so they realize the need for our design provisions. More enlightenment program for the populace on the need to live right to avoid diseases both communicable and non-communicable diseases.
Idris Sikirat Oziohu
As a town planner, any plan be it building or layout plan should be designed in order to enhance the liveable aesthetics and workable environment. This can be done through policy formulation and implementation for sustainable development so as to reduce outbreak of diseases to the nearest minimum.
There should be adequate provision of transportation system in the state as well as the housing provision in Lagos. Furthermore, people should be educated on how to live and prevent NCDs as well as planning standards in Nigeria and especially in Lagos state. All these would be achievable if the government would come in to play.
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About the author:
Chiamaka Mogo is the Manager of Engage Africa Foundation's Hitting Home Series. She is also a media consultant, social justice advocate, blogger - http://blurredcreations.com and Public Administration scholar based in Canada's capital - Ottawa.