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Kenya – Unique slum upgrading project starts in Nairobi

The upgrading of six informal settlements in Nairobi’s Huruma estate has started.

Cooperation Internationale (COOPI) from Italy has given Sh74.4 billion (744 million dollars) for the programme, expected to take three years, and benefit more than 150,000 people. COOPI is partnering with Pamoja Trust, a local non-governmental organisation, and Italy’s Foreign Affairs Ministry in the programme that targets Gitathura, Mahira, Kambi Moto, Mandoya, Ghetto and Redeemed informal settlements.


It borrows from a similar project in Kampala, Uganda in 2005, which was co-financed by UN Habitat.

Ms Margaret Matheka, the coordinator of Pamoja Trust, said the residents would be involved throughout the programme.

It includes helping them financially to put up their own houses, where the land tenure has been regularised by the Ministry of Local Government.

In turn, they provide labour for the project.

“This way, we ensure community involvement and that they lead the process of housing upgrading as this develops local expertise and inculcate responsibility,” she said.

The project uses inexpensive materials that can easily be transported to the site. Gerald Chege is among the semi-skilled personnel on the site, and thanks to the project, he now owns a decent brick house in Huruma’s Gitathuru village, a far cry from the ramshackle he lived in not so long ago. To earn a living, he did manual labour and earned between Sh50 to Sh100 a day.

Today he earns about Sh250 a day and saves anything between Sh50 to Sh100. “At the end of the programme, all the 345 families originally inhabiting Gitathura slum will all occupy their own houses,” said Matheka.

Source – The Standard Online

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