Informal settlement

Informal settlements and slums are caused by a range of interrelated factors, including population growth and rural-urban migration , lack of affordable housing for the urban poor, weak governance (particularly in the areas of policy, planning,land and urban management resulting in land speculation and grabbing), economic vulnerability and underpaid work, discrimination and marginalization, and displacement caused by conflict, natural disasters and climate change. Compared to other urban dwellers, people living in informal settlements, particularly in slums, suffer more spatial, social and economic exclusion from the benefits and opportunities of the broader urban environment.

Policy interventions

The Constitution of Kenya states in article 43(1(b)) that every Kenyan has right to accessible and adequate housing and reasonable standards of sanitation.
2008 Development Policy Master Plan requires the state to provide adequate and decent housing for all Kenyans by the year 2030.

National land use policy underscores the need to undertake slum upgrading program.

Sessional paper No. 1 of 2017: National land use policy recognizes the need for planned urban growth and recommends audit and mapping of location of informal settlements and provide legal security of tenure.

Others laws includes: Rent Restriction Act and the Landlords & Tenant (shops, Hotel and catering) Act that guides the relationship between landlord and tenant in order to avoid arbitrary eviction by landlords.

Mombasa informal settlement

There are approximately 97 informal settlements in Mombasa and mostly lack security of tenure with majority having semi permanent and unplanned structures.


  • The constitution of Kenya.
  • Sessional paper No. 1 of 2017.
  • Habitat III Papers 22 on Informal settlement pg 2
  • Benard Odongo Matanga, Implementing the right to housing for residents of slum and informal settlement in Kenya: Legal, Policy and institutional challenges and prospects, 2012, pg 25 & 26

Informal Settlements in Mombasa

Map showing location, number and status of informal settlements in Mombasa

Feature Info