. Earth Science News .

Uruguay shanty towns get partial reprieve
by Staff Writers
Montevideo, Uruguay (UPI) Sep 1, 2011

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

About half of the 200,000 residents of Montevideo's shanty towns are set to win a reprieve in a government plan to regularize substandard housing seen as an embarrassment to a country hailed abroad as a buoyant emerging economy with prospects of further growth.

Officials said they would consider giving nearly half of the slums regular status, but the other half would need to go and likely be relocated.

It was not immediately clear how the relocation would be arranged. The majority of the slum dwellers have jobs or small businesses in the capital and other cities where their settlements have drawn public criticism.

Most likely to be displaced are inhabitants of shanty towns erected in areas notorious for environmental contamination from industrial effluence or sewage or land prone to frequent flooding.

Montevideo is known to have most of an estimated 676 shanty towns -- a fact not readily recognized by officials until former guerrilla fighter and revolutionary Jose Mujica took over as president March 1, 2010, after an election the previous year.

The former extreme left winger from the Tupamaros armed guerrilla movement has proven to be a pragmatist, courting capitalists and working-class communities alike with his folksy style of government.

The government acted to streamline the shanty town housing as part of an ambitious $150 million program that combines poverty reduction with cleaning up and modernization of the capital city and other urban centers.

Almost 90 percent of the shanty towns are concentrated in Montevideo, although estimates differ.

Housing and Environment Minister Graciela Muslera cited expert estimates that up to 48 percent of the irregular settlements -- currently condemned as illegal -- could be regularized through government-led reforms. But the other 52 percent would have to be relocated, Muslera said.

Although much of the funding for the program will come from the government, officials said contributions from several multilateral organizations would be included in the financing of the project.

Progress on the regularization process is likely to be in stages, however. The first 800 families most exposed to health hazards and flooding will be relocated within five years.

Estimates based on surveys by non-government agencies indicate up to 11 percent of the capital's population may be living in the slums.

Various government agencies have already begun measures to reduce crime and drug trafficking in the slums, where recent studies have highlighted sharp income disparities between ordinary working-class groups and members of organized armed gangs.

Most of the shanty towns sprang up in the 1990s as a combined result of poor living conditions in the outlying rural areas of Uruguay, crop failures, drought and the lure of urbanization.

Related Links
Africa News - Resources, Health, Food


Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries

. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Ugandan villagers reel from mudslide tragedy
Mabono, Uganda (AFP) Aug 30, 2011
Nathan Gimei stares in shock at what used to be his village, a small Ugandan settlement ripped apart by a mudslide that submerged homes and killed entire families. "There were fifteen houses here, two shops, banana trees and coffee plants; now all that is gone," he said, pointing to the churned up mud and shattered houses, running for several hundred metres (yards) down the mountainside. ... read more

Reconstruction from quake top priority: Japan PM Noda

Haiti political knot complicates governance: outgoing PM

Obama tours flooded, storm-hit New Jersey

Ikea pledges $62mn for world's largest refugee camp

Kindle lets readers fire off questions to authors

Ion armageddon: Measuring the impact energy of highly charged ions

A "nano," environmentally friendly, and low toxicity flame retardant protects fabric

Police help Apple search for missing iPhone

UN, EU leaders to hear Pacific climate concerns

Experts recommend nets after Seychelles shark attacks

Global protests against Japan dolphin hunt

La Nina risks increase, to detriment of E. Africa: UN

China tycoon makes Iceland environment pledge

Woolly rhino fossil hints at origins of Ice Age giants

Iceland receives Chinese request for land purchase: ministry

Chinese tycoon defends Iceland project

Using Ground Covers in Organic Production

Unfounded pesticide concerns adversely affect the health of low-income populations

Nitrogen pollution's little-known environmental and human health threats

How an 'evolutionary playground' brings plant genes together

US readies flood aid to N. Korea

Rush to provide relief after Nigerian flood kills 102

Storm Lee brings flash floods to Louisiana

Typhoon kills 20 in Japan, over 50 missing

Nigerian soldiers kill two in reprisal attack on town

Uruguay shanty towns get partial reprieve

Ugandan villagers reel from mudslide tragedy

Radical Tuareg rebel chief dies in Mali

Two Brain Halves Just One Perception

40-year follow-up on marshmallow test points to biological basis for delayed gratification

Humans shaped stone axes 1.8 million years ago

Climate change threatens mental health too: study

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2011 - Space Media Network. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement