Skip main navigation

Spatial justice in Portee-Rokupa

Video watch Abdulai Kanu spatial justice portee rokupa informal settlement freetown sierra leone access services risk water education health
My name is Abdulai Kanu. I live at Portee-Rokupa, in the eastern part of the country [city]. Basically it’s a slum area– a very deprived area, and much vulnerable to the community. And the Portee-Rokupa– it’s basically in two zones, we have the formal part and the informal part. The formal part – basically, it’s more exposed to different facilities. And the informal part – this is so deprived. And the people are deprived just because of having some facilities within the particular area, flooding affecting them, landslide, and even rockfall in the community. And the informal part of the Portee-Rokupa – they are very deprived.
There are certain facilities, having some facility within the area – a tap, a borehole, and even other facilities within the formal settlement. If they want to have some facilities within the informal settlement – they have to use a detour right around, to come above the formal settlement, to get the tap water, a public toilet, and even a borehole. In the formal settlement– there is road access there, but not [as] good as within the city level. Down the slope, there is no road access– no motor vehicle to go down here. The only way is by foot. All the access within the community, or within the slum community – they access it up, to the formal settlement.
If they want to use the hospital, the school, they come up to the formal settlement. In the Portee-Rokupa, the access to services, the difference is, there is no facility within the informal settlement. All of the facilities [are] based in the formal settlement. And in the community, there must be a difference between that. For example, as I mentioned them, the borehole, the tap water, the community toilets, and a community hall – all based in the formal settlement. And those who live in the informal settlement, they find it very difficult. All it is, is they detour to come upstairs, to come have some facilities within the formal settlement.

In this video, you will meet Mr. Abdulai Kanu, a resident of the Portee-Rokupa settlement in the eastern part of Freetown. He describes the spatial injustice residents experience, specifically through the unequal distribution of services between the formal and the informal parts of the neighbourhood, and the daily impact this has on their lives.

The settlement of Portee-Rokupa is also described in Step 2.9, where Ms. Sellu talks about its importance for the city economy as a fishing community.

It is located at point 13 on the Freetown interactive map.

This article is from the free online

Development and Planning in African Cities: Exploring theories, policies and practices from Sierra Leone

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education