Causes of UrbanisationVarious issues that will be examined in this section are the following: lack of adequate facilities, low standards of living, greater job opportunities, economic needs, educational opportunities and other relative amenities. Thus, these prime movers of rural-urban migration constitute social problems like poverty and higher unemployment rates.
Lack of Necessary and Important Facilities in the Rural Areas: No society must ignore this fundamental problem. Rural to urban migration happens on a massive scale, due to much population pressure on the few available resources to in rural areas. This is a fundamental “push” factor to the urban centres from the rural areas. The migrants mostly move from poor or less developed areas to wealthy or well-developed areas for better standards of living.Low Living Standards: Here, the different level of availability of opportunities makes it difficult for the rural people to improve on their standards of living beyond basic sustenance, and this has served as a prompting factor of their migration to the urban centres. The people living in rural areas are “pulled” to the cities. Often they believe that standards of living in the urban areas will be much better than that of the rural areas. Greater Job Opportunities: Rural dwellers believe that fortunes abound easily and better job opportunities are ascertained in the urban centres. The populace hopes for better-paid jobs, and greater opportunities that cannot be found in the rural areas. Ironically, evidence shows that rural workers migrate to the cities even when they are unlikely to find jobs. The migrants are attracted to the cities, not all because they are assured of an increase in wages, but they gamble on being absorbed in higher-wage employment. Sometimes if they are unable to be absorbed, they are willing to be unemployed or they accept very low wages in the urban labour market for a period, with the expectation of getting better employment later.Economic Importance Needs: Rural people move to urban centres to seek for better economic opportunities. In the rural areas families often rely on small farms (subsistence economy), with this it is difficult for them to improve their standards of living beyond basic sustenance. The rural farm life is dependent on unpredictable environmental conditions, and in times drought, flood or pestilence survival becomes extremely problematic. This makes migrants respond primarily to economic incentives in the cities. Urban centres are known to be the places where money and wealth are centralised, and where fortunes are made, and businesses, which generate jobs and capital, are usually located. Whether the source is trade or tourism, it is also through the cities that foreign money flows into a country. Thus, someone living on a farm might wish to take chances of moving to the city in order to make enough money. The differences in average income or wage level between the rural and urban areas significantly affect migration between the two locations. In fact, the disparity between urban centre and rural area wage gaps are known to be more pronounced in the developing countries than in the developed countries. The wages are kept higher in  the cities through union pressure and the strict application of minimum wage laws or by the payment of relatively high wages by government and foreign investors. Educational Needs: These serve as a horizon developmental mechanism to any society, thus so much important to every society, and even becomes one of the major prime movers of rural-urban migration, especially, for the youths. The migrants are attracted to the city in order to achieve better educational attainments and intellectual skills. The good educational incentives in the city pull many rural people to urban centres. Other Relative Amenities: Rural migrants are attracted to the cities in order to have access to public services like electricity, clinics, potable water, etc. High mortality rate in the rural areas drives people who desire better healthcare to urban centres. SELF test.
EXERCISE 1 Why do many people move from rural areas to urban centres?
Effects of Urbanisation It will be an interesting and rewarding exercise to state and explain the effects of urbanisation. Though it is true that opportunities exist in the cities, the fact remains that competition for these opportunities is fierce. Very few people make their fortunes, while the rest are still trying to find ways of eating, sleeping and surviving. We will now look at the effects of urbanisation.
 Slums are the over populated areas in a region that is generally occupied by poor people, living in sub-standard conditions. The common features of slum areas are land insecurity, poor living conditions, unemployment, increase in crime rate and accelerated population growths. Land Insecurity The dwellers in this region are often; they live on the lands that do not officially belong to them. Most often, the government and private individuals usually own the land area. This situation endangers the lives of the squatters and worsens their poverty.
Poor Living Conditions 
Most of the houses are made of scrap materials such as wood, mud, sticks, metal sheets, cardboard and other waste materials which are hazardous to human health. This usually occurs due to crowdedness by entire families living in one-room structures with very little space between one structure and the next. Sanitation is often very poor, which contributes to the spread of diseases such as cholera, typhoid fever, tuberculosis, diphtheria and bilharzia. Utilities such as electricity, water and sewage disposal systems are either not available or only available on a very unreliable basis.

Since many people are competing for limited jobs and resources in the cities unemployment becomes a constant problem. Jobless people usually wander round with the aim of securing jobs or are looking for some income generating factors or activities that will yield to better or good living. Mass unemployment becomes a greater problem and even snowballing to higher rates of crime.

Increase in Crime Rates 
The maintenance of law and order is extremely difficult to achieve, and patrolling slum areas is somehow problematic to the law enforcement agency. Higher crime rates are rampant and other vices like drug trafficking and drug abuse, weapons and arms proliferation, burglary and prostitution are prominent.
Accelerated Population Growths
This is the main causative factor of urban problems. The overpopulation of urban centres is caused by many factors. The upsurge of rural migrants to urban centres puts intense pressure on the urban centres. The urban slum areas are mostly overcrowded without better means of livelihood and sustainability. Most often, the carrying capacities of the urban areas are inadequate to meet the needs of people living in that region. Environmental Degradation Poor Waste Management In densely populated areas of urban centres, waste generation and accumulation are always great and pose great threats to the environment.
Waste is indiscriminately deposited and the people are at risk to the adverse health conditions that result from environmental pollution. Natural Habitat Destruction The conversion of a natural habitat to an urban area is usually unsavory. More especially, whenever a wetland is paved over, the ecosystems of the region will be definitely lost, and any species depending on that ecosystem will die out in the area. The adverse effects of the destruction of natural habitants are always on the living organisms and non-living organisms living in the environment. Water pollution is one of the major problems. More often than not, water cycle in the urban centres changes dramatically; cities have more precipitation of pollutants than rural areas. The soil in over populated areas does not absorb water easily. Urban industrial waste and sewage disposal that is often untreated or partially treated is another environmental concern. Urban Sprawl This has recently been identified as one of the environmental problems in urban centres. It is a situation in which a city is undergoing horizontal growths, spilling out of its previous borders, and experiencing a slow pace in development; the sprawl can eventually extend over a sizable area around the original city. Since Urban sprawl is low in density, it could be easily occupied, and many spaces that might have been previously used for agriculture or natural habitat will be trampled upon.

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