There are rural and urban communities. Rural communities are usually regarded as small communities or villages. The urban communities are known as the cities or big towns. Moving from rural communities to urban communities is referred to as rural-urban migration.
Rural-urban migration has its advantages and disadvantages. An advantage is that most of the companies or industries are in the cities. It is easier to gain employment in the cities than in the rural areas. Most of these companies located in the cities employ people living in the cities for ease of work, meeting targets set for work amongst others. Most individuals move to the urban areas for this reason. With the jobs being in the cities, the wages are usually higher than living in the rural areas, thereby making the standard of living better for these individuals employed.
The disadvantages of rural-urban migration far outweigh the advantages. One is congestion in the cities. With so many people moving to the cities in search of work, basic social amenities, and greener pastures, the cities are choked. People live in houses that are unfit to live in and could break down easily. The housing conditions in the cities are not good. Some individuals live in houses with no toilets and end up defecating in polythene bags and throwing them around. This causes a huge environmental problem leading to unimaginable cases of typhoid and cholera, just to mention a few. With this issue of congestion, secondary issues of poor sanitation, increased crime rates, inadequate wages paid to workers, and health defects amongst many others follow suit.
The poverty level increases due to rural-urban migration. With companies recording huge numbers of people searching for jobs in the cities, they employ them and pay monies that are insufficient for their survival. The salaries paid to these workers are so low. Unfortunately, these individuals accept these jobs because there are no other options. The effects are people being unable to take care of their expenses and other responsibilities that come up taking us back to increased crime rates, prostitution, and other social vices. These individuals with family have it worse. How do they take care of their children’s school fees? How do they pay the high amounts of rent charged? How do they make themselves and their families happy? As the saying goes, ‘Accra, stay by plan or die’.
In addition, food security becomes an issue. There are so many mouths to feed in the cities. The agrarian sector of the country is performing at full capacity due to the limitations of the agricultural sector. We have more humans in the country than the food we are growing. The prices of foodstuffs in the cities are outrageous. With the meager salaries of people, how do they afford these food items and feed well? In a country where so many food items are imported, it worsens the issue of affordability.
Some rural communities become extinct due to migration to the urban areas. Usually, these rural areas are not made up of large numbers. With the move to the cities, there is no one to expand the communities. Some individuals live in the cities that no longer have a place they originate from. In the future, when they have children, these children identify their places of origin as the places they currently stay. This makes them lose touch with their culture and origin as a set group of people.
Rural-urban migration happens because people are tired, desperate, and want to survive. Some of them do not mind leaving the peace, their families, no traffic, and nature in the rural areas to deal with the opposite in the cities.
There should be more job creation in the rural areas. Basic social amenities such as water, electricity, hospitals, and schools must be provided in these rural areas. Individuals who work in the rural areas must be paid well.