Cape Verde has shown substantial economic growth over the past years, largely as a result of increased touristic and residential development. This increase, although substantial in quantity, has been less so in terms of quality. The touristic and urban growth pattern of Cape Verde is based on the European Mediterranean costal development model. Once at it’s peak, but now in decline, it was characterized by abrupt and unsustainable growth, low quality construction and poor urban planning. Mass tourism and over development is increasing and, with little or no regulation, it has impacted the local heritage. Whilst this increase in development has encouraged people to migrate to the larger cities, it has also created a greater urban imbalance between developed city centres with new infrastructures and the areas more poorly developed with their associated social and economic inequalities.
The shortage of housing in Cape Verde is not a problem that can be easily or quickly resolved. The families living in tin houses will continue to live in sub-standard conditions for an indefinite period of time, even if the resolution of the housing problem is made to be a governmental priority.
The most recent information published about the number of families living in these precarious conditions is from 2007, but there has been a substantial increase in the number of illegal constructions since then. Local enforcement authorities have tried to prevent a further increase in the number of tin houses, but no alternative policies have been developed to provide the populations with alternatives and to keep up with the needs of the families in order to prevent them from living in inhumane conditions.
The climate in Cape Verde is warm and dry all year long, with rain showers being scarce;
The rainy season usually lasts from August until October when the south west monsoon hits the islands although as explained above, this affects different islands to different extents. (rainfall does vary from island to island giving average rainfall figures of between 10 and 900mm!)
The ‘windy’ season is from October to June caused by The Harmattan (dry hot winds from the Sahara).