The definition of a slum varies from one form to another depending on the background or country from which an individual comes from. Someone from a rich country may defineslums as old run down buildings, whereas someone from a poor country will define slums asun-serviced haphazard constructions . The universal definition of a slum as found in thedictionary is said to be a heavily populated urban area characterized by substandard housingand filth . Slums are seen as a purely physical phenomenon. Slums are populated by twogroups of people, the poor and the strangers . Since in slums there is a lack of cleanliness,serious diseases can spread easily and quickly. Slum inhabitants go through many problems, afew being they lack of public transit, constant migration, lack of water, no sewage or solidwaste facilities, pollution, and shelter shortages . They also face poor ventilation, due to a lack of windows and electricity. They also tend to establish homes on unused land that is usually privately owned or government owned land. Therefore a concise definition for a slum would be a crowded urban area, marked by poverty, where living conditions are very bad and in poor condition .
Defining and measuring slums
The problem with measuring slums start with the lack of an agreed definition. As a result ,enumeration of slums has not yet been incorporated within mainstream monitoringinstruments, such as natural population censuses, demographic and health surveys, and globalsurveys. Some surveys provide proxies or related variables ‘such as proportion of unauthorized housing’ pr ‘proportion of squatters’ . Participatory poverty assessments in leastdeveloped countries (LDCs) generally provide only qualitative information on urban poverty.The generic definition suggest that a slum is :…..a contiguous settlement where the inhabitants are characterized as having inadequatehousing and basic seervices. A slum is often not recognized by the public authorities as anintegral or equal part of the city.Other similar definitions are provided in many policy documents; for example the citiesalliance action plan describes slum as follows:1