Urbanization and Structure Planning

Over the last two decades the rural/urban exodus has caused a shift, making Anambra a highly urbanized state with 62% of its population living in urban areas. In October 2015, the APGA-led state government of Willie Obiano signed memorandum of understanding with Galway modular housing company, Affordable Building Concepts International for 10,000 housing units in the State.

Faced with decades of neglect and bad governance, the shift in human migration has posed problems to available infrastructural provision, environmental sanitation, erosion control and other social services. As a result, major cities have become characterized by inadequate and deteriorated road networks, walkways, unregulated building patterns, sanitation, uncontrolled street trading, mountains of garbage, and chaotic transport systems, creating congestion, noise pollution and overcrowding.

To address this situation, the government of Peter Obi with the assistance of the UN-HABITAT produced 20-year structural plans (2009–2028) for three major cities in the State, Onitsha, Nnewiand Awka Capital Territory to restore urban planning and guide their growth into the future.

The plans contain policies and proposals for land use, city beautification, road infrastructure, industrial development, housing, waste disposal, water supply and health and educational facilities to turn the cities into Anambra into successful urban areas to generate employment, wealth and provide high living standards for its residents.

Anambra became the first state in Nigeria to adopt Structural Plans for its cities and with effective implementation should systematically grow as a major economic center in Nigeria and West Africa.

The process of urbanization is fairly contributed by population growth, immigration, migration, and infrastructure initiatives like good road, water, power, and gardens, resulting in the growth of villages into towns, town into cities and cities into metros. However, in such a phenomenon for ecological feasible development, planning requires an understanding of the growth dynamics, if not people will continue moving from our villages in search of greener pasture living only the aged men and women to farm, this is noticeable in Amesi, Akpo, and Achina towns in Aguata local government area. They major in the production of yam, Cocoyam and cassava through consistent agriculture. These agricultural activities have in recent time suffered a setback due to massive out-migration of their youths to the urban centres, thereby resulting in food scarcity and over population in urban environment.

In furtherance of efforts to upgrade the State capital, Awka, Governor Willie Obiano flagged off the construction of three fly-overs between the Amawbia and Arroma end of the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway, a distance of about three kilometres within Awka city.