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UIC - Mumbai - SEE Challenges

Key words
Inequalities - Differences between poverty and wealth, as well as in peoples' wellbeing and access to things like jobs, housing and education. Inequalities may occur in housing provision, access to services, access to open land, safety and security.
Pollution - The presence of chemicals, noise, dirt or other substances which have harmful or poisonous effects on an environment.
Sanitation - Measures designed to protect public health, including the provision of clean water and the disposal of sewage and waste.
Traffic congestion - Occurs when there is too great a volume of traffic for roads to cope with, so traffic jams form and traffic slows to a crawl.

Mumbai is a city that faces many challenges and those challenges are large because of its immense size and rapid growth.  Physical Geography also plays a role, as Mumbai has been limited in where it can grow because it originally grew at the southern end of an island surrounded by the Arabian Sea and 2 rivers.
The major problem in Mumbai is the growth of squatter settlements known in India as SLUMS. These slums come with many issues for people including the lack of planned access to clean water and sanitation systems, poor health, lack of education, unemployment and the prospect of crime.
One of the world’s most infamous slums is Dharavi slum, which is the largest squatter settlement located in Mumbai (formally Bombay) in India. There are a million people crammed into one square mile in Dharavi. At the edge of Dharavi the newest arrivals come to make their homes on waste land next to water pipes in slum areas. They set up home illegally amongst waste on land that is not suitable for habitation. In the wet monsoon season these people have huge problems living on this low lying marginal land.

Challenging Conditions in the slums
In the slum people have to live with many problems;
1. Lack of sanitation is the MAJOR ISSUE - people have to go to the toilet in the street and there are open sewers because 500 people share one public latrine. Children play amongst sewage waste and doctors deal with 4,000 cases a day of diphtheria and typhoid.


Dharavi Slum By Leonora Enking via Wikimedia Commons

2. Lack of access to clean water – there are few water pipes in the slum and those that exist only have the supply switched on for 2 hours a day by the city authorities.  This means people have to queue for water and have LIMITED SUPPLY.  In addition, next to the open sewers are water pipes, which can crack and take in sewage.  Dharavi slum is based around this water pipe built on an old rubbish tip.

3. Lack of legal rights - The people have not planned this settlement and have no legal rights to the land.  In addition, the slum houses have little in the way of security.  Mumbai as a whole has a problem with crime, such as pick pockets and organised begging.
4. POOR HEALTH – life expectancies in the squatter settlements are low because of these conditions, poor quality water, mosquitoes which thrive in nearby mangrove swamps and dangerous jobs (There are toxic wastes in the slum including hugely dangerous heavy metals) all serve to impact on people’s health.
5. UNEMPLOYMENT and POOR QUALITY WORK - Many people have poor jobs, such as those who work to sift the rubbish in the tips where children and women sift through the rubbish for valuable waste. They have to work under the hot sun in appalling conditions. They earn around a £1 a day for their work.
Many architects and planners claim this slum could hold the solution for many of the problems of the world’s largest cities.

Mumbai has challenges to deal with protecting the natural environment and providing people with a clean environment to live in. 
1. Water pollution is a major problem in Mumbai.  A major study revealed that 77% of households suffer from poor water quality in the city.  This poor water quality is leading to water borne diseases occurring in people and levels of things like total dissolved solids (TDS) and nitrates are higher than safe limits.  Toxic chemicals such as arsenic and lead and disease-causing bacteria are also contributing to the alarming increase in the water contamination. Deadly waterborne diseases like cholera, jaundice, typhoid, diarrhoea are affecting people as a result.

2. Air pollution – Mumbai has some very dirty air including dangerous levels of Nitrous Oxides and small dust particles called particulate matter.  These are both hazardous to human health and can cause things like asthma. The causes of this pollution are industry, ever increasing numbers of cars and construction dust.

Air pollution Dharavi

3. Waste – Mumbai produces 7,500 metric tonnes of waste every day, a huge amount.  There is no comprehensive city based system of collection and this waste poses a hazard to human health.  The slum of Dharavi has a recycling zone. It is claimed that Dharavi’s recycling zone could be the way forward to a sustainable future. Everything is recycled from cosmetics and plastics to computer keyboards. 23% of plastic waste gets recycled in the UK, in Dharavi it is 80%. Despite this Mumbai still has major problems getting rid of its waste.

4. Traffic congestion – there are more than 22 million vehicles registered in Mumbai and these contribute to both noise and air pollution, as well as lots of lost hours as people sit in traffic jams.  This is despite Mumbai’s renowned train system.

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