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Preface Annex 1
ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIOECONOMIC IMPACTS OF ARMED CONFLICT
IMPACTS OF CONFLICT ON URBAN AREAS
It is estimated that one in three African city-dwellers lives in life-threatening conditions, with the number of the urban poor expected to reach 404 million in 2015, or 46 per cent of the population, compared to 241 million people in 1990; this percentage is expected to increase (Auclair 2005). Conflict can have a distorting affect on settlement and production systems, making a bad situation even worse.
Increased urbanization can be a factor. In Angola, for example, a combination of war-related factors resulted in rapid and unplanned urbanization. The population of the capital city, Luanda, doubled from 1990 to 2001, and the proportion of the total population living in the capital is the highest of any country in SSA (Tvedten 2001). This was in part due to the effects the war had in rural areas, including reduced access to agricultural land because of landmines, related chronic food insecurity, isolation from markets, and the general threat of violence against civilians. Displacement was used as an instrument of war by all parties to the conflict. Between 1.3 million and 2 million people fled their homes from 1992 to 1994, moving primarily to urban areas. Between 1998 and 2002, when hostilities ended, an additional 3.3 million persons were forced to flee their homes (Watchlist 2002).
Infrastructure deterioration is particularly significant, due to a loss of investment as well as a reduced ability to maintain these structures. This has implications for health, communications, education and overall well-being. More than 50 per cent of Luanda’s population, and most that live in the musseques, do not have access to piped water (Cain 2004). The peri-urban and musseque population is forced to pay for water pumped from the Bengo River and distributed by informal sellers. Incredibly, the poor in Luanda pay up to 10 000 times more per litre for water than do the wealthier inhabitants who live in formal settlements (Cain 2004).
The population of Maputo, the capital city of Mozambique, has also suffered greatly as a result of war. As in Angola, urbanization rates increased rapidly because of the war, with, for example, rates of 40 per cent in Maputo Province in 1991 (Baden 1997).