Technological Aspects of Popular Settlements in Greater Khartoum.

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Osman Mohamed, El Kheir
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The shelter problem in Sudan up to the late eighties was reviewed against the background of global and Third World experiences and official attitudes towards settlements. The colonial inheritance, rapid demographic changes and severe economic limitations which affect housing conditions and housing provision in Third World countries were seen as common factors which also affect Sudan. Major factors contributing to the development of the housing problem in Khartoum since colonization were discussed. The government contribution in terms of site-and-services projects and low-cost housing schemes were viewed and contrasted to the extent of spontaneous settlements, their contributions and short-comings. The empirical investigation, based on questionnaires and direct interviews, was run at three levels. An overall investigation of housing conditions in the Three Towns capital was done for the different residential classes. This qualititative survey helped in identifying the low- income housing areas, that is, third and fourth classes and illegal areas, within the overall housing spectrum. A detailed chronological technological investigation, level 2, involved two hundred low-income households on the urban periphery of Omdurman town. The formation of the sample was composite as regards legality aspects, thus allowing a comparison between its legal, quasi-legal and illegal sectors. A third level of investigation selected a few samples of houses form this range for an illustrated close up profile and case histories recording The discussion of findings included an assessment of the effect of official policies and the imposed legal status on developments in the area. Policies were weighed as to their relationship to the needs of that population and its socio-economic setting. Suggestions for improvements of the physical and social environments of this locality were put forward with special emphasis on appropriate building technologies. Design, construction, financing, and maintenance of housing, were discussed along with infra-structures and social services. Possible areas and programmes for mutual action were proposed, with roles distributed between users, authorities, professionals and international organizations.
Technological Aspects of Popular Settlements in Greater Khartoum.