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SKZ Foundation

Slums are unplanned and congested urban settlements that have become a common feature in many cities and towns around the world. Overcrowding in these communities is a significant problem that affects the health and well-being of residents, their social and economic outcomes, and the overall development of the cities they are located in. Overcrowding arises when the population of the slum exceeds the available resources and facilities in the area, leading to a shortage of housing, infrastructure, and public services. Overcrowding is a complex problem that requires a multifaceted approach to address. In Pakistan, the overcrowding in slums is increasing at an alarming rate. Not only the slums are overcrowded but the living conditions are worst as well. The sanitation system and healthcare systems are miserable. The people are suffering from chronic diseases, and are mentally and physically ill because the living conditions are not favourable.
The situation can only e improved if the government make efficient policies in a way that increase opportunities, make housing affordable, educate the people and teach them skills so that they can live a better life availing of the opportunities they have.

Improving Affordable Housing

The provision of affordable housing is a significant challenge in slums and low-income areas. Poor housing conditions force families to crowd into single rooms, leading to overcrowding. One of the ways to alleviate overcrowding in slums is to improve the availability and affordability of housing units. The government can create policies that promote the development of low-cost housing in areas with high slum populations. Additionally, the government can provide financial incentives to private developers to encourage them to invest in the development of affordable housing units. It is important to ensure that these housing units are built in locations that have adequate infrastructure and public services such as water, electricity, and sanitation. Providing affordable housing units will reduce the demand for housing in slums and eventually reduce overcrowding.

Improving Sanitation and Water Facilities

Inadequate sanitation and water facilities create a conducive environment for diseases, leading to high morbidity rates. Overcrowding in slums aggravates this problem, as it increases the risk of communicable diseases. To avoid overcrowding in slums, it is essential to ensure that residents have access to basic sanitation and water facilities. The provision of safe and accessible water reduces the spread of waterborne diseases, while sanitation facilities reduce soil and water contamination. The government should invest in the construction of public toilets and the provision of clean water sources in slum settlements. Additionally, the government can encourage private investors to construct and operate public sanitation facilities such as waste management systems. These measures would help reduce the spread of diseases and improve the quality of life for residents.

Role of SKZ:

SKZ has been working to improve the living conditions in slums. We are working to provide them with clean water and raising their problems being their voice to get the government’s attention towards their problems like worst sanitation and unavailability of clean water.

Creating Jobs and Economic Opportunities

Employment opportunities are scarce in slum settlements, which means that most residents are either unemployed or work in low-paying jobs. The lack of economic opportunities drives urban migration, which results in the growth of slums. To avoid overcrowding in slums, it is necessary to create jobs and economic opportunities for the residents. The government can create policies that promote entrepreneurship and small business development in slums. Financial institutions can provide funding to entrepreneurs who are developing businesses in these areas. Additionally, the government can encourage investment in the creation of industrial parks in the peri-urban areas surrounding the slums. These measures would create jobs and economic opportunities, reducing the need for urban migration and eventually reducing overcrowding in slums.

Role of SKZ:

SKZ is working to provide women and young children with skills. After teaching them technical skills and teaching women the skills like sewing and cooking, we find their work opportunities so they can grow.

Improving Education and Healthcare

Education and healthcare are essential components of improving the quality of life of slum residents. However, most slums lack access to quality education and healthcare services. The high cost of education and healthcare facilities leads to a lack of access for most residents. The government can invest in the construction of public healthcare facilities in slum settlements. Additionally, policies can be put in place to ensure that education is affordable and accessible to all residents. The government can provide financial support to families who cannot afford to send their children to school. Offering free or subsidized education and healthcare facilities can help reduce the demand for overcrowded slum settlements.

Role of SKZ:

SKZ’s mission is to provide the slum people with their basic rights education and healthcare free of cost. We are educating more than 70 students in a school intending to change the future of 70 families. We arrange free medical camps to provide them with the health facilities they deserve. The camps provide free diagnosis of the disease, free medical consultation and medicines to the poor.

Reducing Rural-Urban Migration

Rural-urban migration is the leading cause of overcrowding in urban areas. Most people in rural areas move to urban centres in search of better opportunities. This influx of people causes the rapid growth of slums and the development of overcrowded settlements. To avoid overcrowding in slums, the government needs to implement policies that promote balanced economic development within the country. This involves investing in rural areas to create employment and economic opportunities. Additionally, the government needs to institute policies that discourage urban migration. For example, the government can create policies that promote the development of secondary cities and rural areas, such as providing infrastructure, creating employment opportunities, and investing in social services. The encouragement of balanced development will reduce the incentive for people to move to urban areas and eventually reduce overcrowding in slums.

Overcrowding in slums is a challenge that requires a multifaceted approach to address. Improving affordable housing, sanitation, and water facilities, creating jobs and economic opportunities, improving education and healthcare, and reducing rural-urban migration are effective ways to avoid overcrowding in slums. These measures will improve the quality of life of slum residents, reduce the spread of diseases, and improve the social and economic outlook of the cities they are located in. The government must collaborate with relevant stakeholders to implement these interventions effectively.