Informal settlements


UN-Habitat issue paper III of 2016 stated that the population, economic activities, social
and cultural interactions, as well as environmental and humanitarian impacts, are increasingly concentrated in cities, possessing massive sustainability challenges in terms of housing, infrastructure, basic services, food security, health, education, decent jobs, safety, and natural resources, among others.


In Kenya informal settlement are as a result of unplanned urbanization where by the towns receive more immigrants than it is prepared to accommodate; urbanization of poverty where poor people who cannot afford decent housing come to urban areas and ; dysfunctional, discriminative, complex and exclusive land management and planning systems where land occupied by the poor is excluded from the main urban management (Omwoma, 2013) .


Kenyan cities and town have massively increased in a short duration, causing emergence of informal settlements. Though people living in informal settlements contribute to national economy, they live in deplorable conditions .Living conditions are shocking and intolerable. Residents often live without water and sanitation, and are in constant fear of eviction OHCHR.


Over the years, there have been several attempts to upgrade slum settlements in Kenya using different strategies; however these efforts have been unfocused , poorly managed and mostly unsystematic (Omwoma, 2013).


CITIES ALLIANCE (2008) has noted that with successful slum upgrading, three processes occur simultaneously over time:


  • The slum dweller becomes the citizen,
  • The shack becomes the house, and
  • The slum becomes the suburb.

The ultimate achievement of the slum upgrading process include adequate privacy; adequate space; physical accessibility; adequate security; security of tenure; structural stability and durability; adequate lighting, heating and ventilation; adequate basic infrastructure, such as water-supply,sanitation and waste-management facilities; suitable environmental quality and health-related factors; and adequate and accessible location with regard to work and basic facilities: all of which should be available at an affordable cost (UNHCS, 1997).

Informal Settlements

Mombasa informal settlements

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