No other continent in the world (that’s not counting Antarctica) is studied by less ecologists than Africa; that is actually paradoxal, because cities are growing here faster than any other continent on Earth. Just less than a century ago, 5% of people lived in urban areas, while now, almost 40% call a city their home.
This rapid growth is causing numerous problems that are (or at least, if I’m mistaking, seem) overlooked by almost everybody. Very few ecologists are actually studying the n environment and effect of cities on rural areas.
Despite the fact that the areas with many problems (such as hunger, virtually lack of hygiene, lack of water, diseases, areas controled by rebels, etc) haven’t improved almost at all (except for the first two perhaps), the other safer and wealthier parts of Africa have developed significantly, creating a gap between the two. The desire for charcoal, oil and wood are causing deforestation.
But perhaps, as Joy Clancy from the University of Twente claims, the biggest problem could be around the periurban areas, where huge portions of wood are being cut down to allow agriculture. Add this to an increased demand of water and the disposal of garbage in the water, and you get to a very siginificant damaging impact. So what could the solution be?? First of all, an improvement of the tools and techniques of agriculture could bring an increase of productivity so there would be no need for other areas. Still, people have the tendency of asking for more and more, and as long as the law isn’t applied more strictly there, the chances of accomplishing ecological progress are practically inexistant.