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Research Dissemination; Mukuru and Kiandutu Informal Settlements

The County of Nairobi and the County of Kiambu, declared that Mukuru and Kiandutu informal settlements will be marked as Special Planning Areas (SPA) to allow for improvement of the living settlements in the area.


Announcing at a breakfast meeting held on Friday 17th February, 2017, the informal settlement areas cover; Mukuru (comprising of Mukuru Kwa Njenga, Mukuru Kwa Ruben and Viwandani) in Nairobi; and Kiandutu slum in Kiambu County both covering 600 acres for the former and of 110 acres for the latter.


The collaborative research conducted revealed a staggering “poverty penalty” in Mukuru. Slum residents pay more for services that are inferior to those provided in Nairobi’s formal housing estates. For instance a family in the slum pays water 172% more for water compared with a family living in a formal estate.  Cartels often control these slums, charging extortionate rates for access to essential services and threatening residents with violent evictions and forced demolitions.


The research estimated an annual informal economy in the Mukuru area of 7 billion Shillings controlled by cartels; 25% of the total kshs.32 billion Nairobi County Budget.


Today’s research dissemination session brought together key stakeholders to discuss strategies for unlocking poverty penalty and up-scaling the respect for human rights in informal settlements.


While representing the County of Nairobi, Mr. Tom Odongo highlighted the fact that the areas which suffer from urban resilience are the slum areas, a matter that the government desired to address. With an effort to address these kinds of matters, Mr. Odongo announced the plan to put out a notice, declaring Mukuru areas as SPAs.


Honourable Deputy Governor of Kiambu County, Mr. Gerald Githinji commended the researchers on their great work, highlighting that urban planning is at the forefront of Kiambu’s strategic plans. “Unless we get our planning right, we will not move forward as a country,” Hon. Githinji stated, as he announced Kiandutu area an SPA.


According to the Physical Planning Act, Kenya’s County Governments may designate SPAs if it is distinguished by key possibilities or problems. The SPA must have unique development and environmental potential, while also raising significant urban design and environmental challenges.


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In 2015, the International Development Research Center (IDRC) provided a two-year multidisciplinary, action research grant to Akiba Mashinani Trust (AMT), the University of Nairobi, Strathmore University and Katiba Institute. IDRC funds research in developing countries to create lasting change on a large-scale, by providing developing country researchers financial resources, advice and training to help them find solutions to local problems.


Institutions involved in this programme included; Muungano wa wanavijiji; Katiba Institute; SDI; Strathmore University; Muungano akiba mashinani trust; Nairobi City County; University of Nairobi; IDRC – International Development Research Centre; Cadada; Kiambo County Government.


For more information on this program, click here