- Article Title: Beyond urban vulnerability: interrogating the social sustainability of a livelihood in the informal economy of Nigerian cities.
- Title of Journal: Review of African Political Economy
- Vol #: 42
- Issue #: 144
Aba is a politically volatile, economically vibrant but environmentally poor city that is a microcosm of social conditions in the Nigerian urban informal economy. Hence, this study interrogates the social sustainability of waste picking in the city, using a hybrid of political economy and sustainable livelihoods frameworks to explicate social conditions of labour in the waste economy in relation to state/institutional policies. A mixed-methods approach was utilised, and findings indicate that a cocktail of conditions affect waste picking. A rise in waste picking was noted to be in response to neoliberal economic policies which removed social safety nets. Juxtaposing green neoliberal political economy with waste picking in Nigeria, the paper queries the continued neglect of the social dimension of the sustainability debate in informal waste management (IWM), arguing that social sustainability can be compatible with IWM, a neglected component of the ‘new green economy’ of Nigerian cities.