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Marginal Voices, Resilient Acts: Urban Marginality and Responses to Climate-Related Events in Lilongwe City Informal Settlements


Urban informal settlements have, over the years, been centres of conflicting development debates, yet, for people with low socio-economic status, these are areas of opportunities. However, the “peripheral” nature of these locations has far-reaching implications on how people in these areas participate in decision-making processes that affect them. Lately, the effects of climate-related events have also added another layer of socio-economic, political, and environmental challenge to the dynamics of life in the marginal areas of the urban setting. The purpose of this paper is to critically examine how people in marginal informal settlements of Lilongwe City respond to climate-related events and interact with the wider ecosystem of development stakeholders. The major thesis of the paper is that while critical policymakers ignore these peripheral voices in the provision of basic services, an enhanced support to these informal settlements can prove positive if efforts are harnessed to mitigate the effects of climate-related events and urban marginality and amplify marginal voices to change social policies for the good of all. This paper uses the case of Lilongwe City where three informal settlements of Mtandire, Kaliyeka, and Kawale form part of the study.

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Correspondence to Jonathan Makuwira.

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Makuwira, J. Marginal Voices, Resilient Acts: Urban Marginality and Responses to Climate-Related Events in Lilongwe City Informal Settlements. Urban Forum 33, 51–64 (2022).

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  • Marginality
  • Resilience
  • Urban
  • Climate events
  • Lilongwe