Karu Urban Area

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Greater Karu Urban Area
Urban Karu
Country  Nigeria
State

Nasarawa State


Largest Towns New Nyanya
Mararaba
New Karu
Ado
Masaka
Government
 • Body Karu Local Government
Area
 • Metro 400 km2 (200 sq mi)
Population
 • Metro 2 000 000
 • Metro density 500/km2 (1,000/sq mi)
Time zone WAT (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) not observed (UTC+1)
Website []

The Karu Urban Area is a suburb of Abuja in central Nigeria. It has an area of 40,000 hectares (400 km²) and a population of some 2 million.[1]

It is one of the fastest growing urban areas in the world, with a growth rate of 40 percent recorded annually.[2][3] It consists of towns that developed as a result of the need to house middle income workers who could not afford accommodation in Abuja.[4]

From west to east, the urban area includes towns like Kurunduma, New Nyanya, Mararaba, New Karu, Ado, Masaka and newer, fast-growing towns such as One Man Village (which contains over 1 million people[5]) and Gidan Zakara.[6] Since the beginning of the 20th century, these districts have grown together into a large urban area and a major commercial centre of central Nigeria.

History[edit]

In the 1970s, it was decided to relocate Nigeria's capital from Lagos to the centre of the country. The site chosen for the new capital was very close to the villages that made up the present Karu Area, which was a sparsely populated area typical of Nigeria's Middle Belt.

In the 1980s, the Nigerian government began transferring its activities to Abuja,[7] and countries began relocating their embassies there. The Economic Community of West African States moved its headquarters to Abuja, and OPEC moved its regional headquarters there. The result was a rapid increase in Abuja's population, which more than doubled in a short time. The Karu area was also affected, as its villages experienced rapid growth due to their close proximity to the new capital.[8]

Growth and urbanisation[edit]

In 2003, Mallam Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai, then minister of the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria, wished to regain control of the population explosion of Abuja, which had led to the deterioration of the city's infrastructure. He started a campaign of demolition,[9] using bulldozers to demolish structures and clear shanty towns.[10] The campaign made hundreds of thousands of residents homeless,[11][12][13] as the remaining decent accommodation was highly priced,[14] and lands approved for residential areas were too expensive for those on an average income,[15] because of Abuja's status as the capital of Africa's oil giant, Nigeria,[16] a country where most people live on less than US$2 a day.[17][18] These people were thus driven to find affordable accommodation in the neighbouring satellite towns.[19] Because it is so close to Abuja, many of them went to the Karu area, which underwent a population explosion that quickly transformed it into an urban area.

Urban developments of Karu[edit]

The rapid growth of the Karu Urban Area began attracting businesses such as banks, hospitality providers and engineering firms, making it more popular than ever and further accelerating its population growth. People from other parts of the country, reluctant to live in the expensive Abuja, came to settle in Karu, which was regarded as a new urban area that grew as a result of Abuja's influence. The towns in the area soon began to merge into a conurbation more than 24 kilometres long, with a population projected to be around 2 million.

Government and administration[edit]

The Greater Karu Urban Area is governed by the Karu Local Government in Nasarawa state in Nigeria's middle belt. The Karu Local Government is headed by a chairman elected for a four-year term. It has its headquarters and secretariat in New Karu town. The local government council is responsible for the development of infrastructure in the Karu Urban Area, with the backing of the state government of Nasarawa State. The Esu Karu, the traditional ruler of New Karu, is recognised as a traditional authority in the local government area.[20] He is responsible for settling conflicts among members of the indigenous ethnic groups and serves as the record keeper of the area's history.

Weather and climate[edit]

The Greater Karu Urban Area has the tropical savanna climate of central Nigeria, with alternating rainy and dry seasons. The rainy season begins in April and ends in November. Rainfall in the Urban Area is high owing to its location on the windward side of the Jos Plateau and the zone of rising air masses. The annual total rainfall is in the range 1100 –1600 mm.

Health[edit]

The Greater Karu Urban Area serves as a health centre for central Nigeria, with many hospitals, medical centres, and clinics.[21]

Economy[edit]

The Greater Karu Urban Area has a well-developed banking sector, and many construction firms carrying out a large number of construction projects. It is also emerging as an industrial base. The growing economy and the commercialisation of the Karu Urban Area has given the city a middle-income status.

Transportation[edit]

The Karu Urban Area is connected to Abuja by an expressway, which is owned by Nigeria's federal government.[22]

Education[edit]

The agglomeration in the Karu area has attracted private investments in education to provide for the growing young and illiterate adult population. The area has a number of primary schools, secondary schools[23][24] and universities.[25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ PELL FRISCHMANN (2009). "PELL FRISCHMANN CONSULTING ENGINEERS LTD". British Expertise. Retrieved 5 May 2011. 
  2. ^ Tamuno Abaku (May 2006). "Nearer to peace". Academic Associates Peace Work. Retrieved 4 May 2011. 
  3. ^ "Realising Common Goals'". Nasarawa State. 22 February 2005. Retrieved 4 May 2011. 
  4. ^ Terkula Igidi (28 September 2008). "The Double Lives of Abuja Workers". Daily Trust. AllAfrica. Retrieved 4 May 2011. 
  5. ^ James Uzondu (2011-02-15). "One-Man Village: The Irony In A Name". nigeriannewsworld. Nigerian Newsworld Magazine Limited. Retrieved 4 May 2011. 
  6. ^ Turaki A. Hassan (20 January 2011). "Voters registration: Jega appears before Reps today". Daily Trust. Daily Trust Online. Retrieved Thursday, 5 May.. 
  7. ^ "FEDERAL CAPITAL ABUJA". OnlineNigeria. 2/12/2003. Retrieved 4 May 2011. 
  8. ^ "Nigeria Guide. Nigeria country information. Nigeria States. States in Nigeria. Federal Republic of Nigeria. Abuja". Guide2TheWorld. 2011. Retrieved 4 May 2011. 
  9. ^ Joseph Onyekwere (, 13 February 2006). "FCT:The El-Rufai Revolution". Newswatch. Newswatch Communications. Retrieved 4 May 2011. 
  10. ^ Tunde Asaju (8 December 2003). "Fear of the Bulldozers". Newswatch. Newswatch Communications Limited. Retrieved 4 May 2011. 
  11. ^ COHRE/SERAC JOINT MEDIA RELEASE (15 May 2008 – 2:24 pm). "The Struggle for the City;Abuja: More than 800,000 shack dwellers evicted from 2003 to 2007". Blog at WordPress.com. Theme: ChaosTheory by Automattic. Retrieved 4 May 2011. 
  12. ^ COHRE/SERAC JOINT MEDIA RELEASE (2007). "Social and Economic Rights Action Center". SERAC. Retrieved 4 May 2011. 
  13. ^ COHRE (15 May 2008). "Nigeria: The myth of the Abuja master plan". reliefweb. ReliefWeb. Retrieved 4 May 2011. 
  14. ^ Mustapha Suleiman (28 March 2010). "Nigeria: High Cost of Abuja Accommodation Worrisome". AllAfrica. allAfrica.com. Retrieved 4 May 2011. 
  15. ^ Amina Echono (24 January 2011). "Nigeria: Why is House Rent High in the FCT?". Leadership (Abuja). allAfrica.com. Retrieved 4 May 2011. 
  16. ^ Fidelis Anosike (2009). "1st October;The best of Nigeria". Fidelis Anosike. Retrieved 4 May 2011. 
  17. ^ Senan Murray (13 February 2007). "Life of poverty in Abuja's wealth". BBC Home. BBC Home. Retrieved 4 May 2011. 
  18. ^ Written by Ola Balogun (7 March 2011). "Revolution in Tunisia and Egypt: lessons for Nigerian workers". Workers Alternativ. Retrieved 4 May 2011. 
  19. ^ "Nigeria: FCT Land Fees, Land Use Act And Housing Affordability". Daily Trust (Abuja). allAfrica.com. 25 May 2010. Retrieved 4 May 2011. 
  20. ^ Tukura Matthew (23 December 2004). "NSG Goes Tough Over Karu ...Vows to demolish illegal structures". Nigerian Newsday Nasarawa State Weekly Newspaper. Nasarawa Publishing Company Limited. Retrieved 4 May 2011. 
  21. ^ "Our list of providers (Hospitals)". Clearline International. 2009. Retrieved 4 May 2011. 
  22. ^ EMMANUEL ONANI (11 March 2011). "Road Carnage:Relief for AYA-Nyanya-Keffi expressway". NationalMirror. Retrieved 4 May 2011. 
  23. ^ MR. MBA A. "Best International School". Retrieved 4 May 2011. 
  24. ^ "Again, Teachers Without Borders holds capacity-building workshop in Nasarawa". News Diary Online. 23 January 2011. Retrieved 4 May 2011. 
  25. ^ "Frequently asked question". citihigh.com. 2010. Retrieved 4 May 2011.