Nigerian Urban Renewal Project May Leave 200,000 Homeless

A waterfront redevelopment project in Port Harcourt is drawing fire from human rights advocates.
November 5, 2010, 9am PDT | Lynn Vande Stouwe
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The regional Rivers State government claims demolition of a large waterfront settlement is essential to implement the Greater Port Harcourt master plan, which will transform the waterfront of the oil-rich city into a recreation and tourist destination, to include a theme park, shopping mall, hotel, and promenade. Groups like Amnesty International argue the government has not complied with international human rights law in its planning and are lobbying to suspend demolition until new housing is secured for the estimated 200,000 affected residents.

Another Port Harcourt development project displaced thousands in 2009, writes David Smith:

"Last year, Njemanze, a waterfront settlement, was demolished as part of the regeneration scheme. An estimated 13,000 people lost their homes and, in many cases, their possessions and livelihoods after being forcibly evicted without adequate notice, Amnesty said. A year later, many still have nowhere to live."

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Published on Thursday, October 28, 2010 in The Guardian
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