World Bank offers Nakuru funds for slum upgrade

Kenya News Agency News & Updates February 23, 2024

The State Department of Housing and Urban Development has allocated Sh 1 billion towards the upgrade of informal settlements in Nakuru under the second phase of the Kenya Informal Settlement Improvement Programme II (KISIP).

The State under the World Bank-funded program has granted the County Government of Nakuru Shs 500 million towards ongoing projects to improve access to basic services in the low-income settlements of Kwa-Murogi, London, and Lake View within Nakuru Town and Karagita slums in Naivasha.

The initiative besides slum upgrading, is also targeting the improvement of drainage infrastructure, waste management, improvement of roads in the slums, and installation of street lighting and high mast flood lights.

County Chief Officer in charge of Housing and Urban Development Mr Kamau Kuria said the devolved unit’s administration, with development partners including the State Department of Housing and Urban Development and World Bank, had also finalized designs towards the upgrading of Kapkures and Kiratina slums in Nakuru municipality, Mwisho wa Lami settlements in Njoro Sub-County and Tayari low-income settlements at an additional cost of Shs 500 million.

Speaking after the KISIP National Project Coordination Team (NPCT) and the County Project Coordination Team (CPCT) inspected the ongoing projects in the four settlements Mr. Kuria said the project also entails the issuance of title deeds, laying of sewerage lines and water connectivity among others.

The Chief Officer assured the residents that both NPCT and CPCT were ensuring that the proper project scope was captured by the project consultants to ensure the beneficiaries get value for money.

He added that the County Government was also mapping out possible areas of extension of trunk infrastructure to the settlements to enable access while focusing on investment and socio-economic support for the dwellers.

Kuria, who also doubles up as the CPCT Coordinator, noted that the team of experts from Nakuru Municipality, Environment, Social Services, Roads and Infrastructure, Land Physical Planning, Urban Development, as well as Supply Chain and Accounting personnel, would ensure the success of the projects.

According to KISIP National Project Coordinator George Arwa More than 400 informal settlement schemes in the country are set to benefit from the Sh31.7 billion multilateral donor funding to provide low-cost housing and general infrastructure improvement among other crucial amenities.

The funding has been given out by the World Bank ($150 million or Sh24.1 billion) and the French Development Agency (43 million Euros or Sh7.6 billion) and will address infrastructure, water, lighting, and social inclusion in 33 counties.

Mr Arwa indicated that the upgrade designed by the World Bank seeks to enhance land tenure security and improve infrastructure and services such as roads, drainage, pedestrian walkways, and water connection.

The project further seeks to link beneficiaries to socio-economic opportunities and build the capacity of national and county governments to develop and implement slum upgrading and prevention policies and strategies.

“Urban population in developing countries like Kenya is increasing at an alarming rate. By 2020, Kenya had witnessed close to 7.6 million proportion of urban population living in slums while in Sub-Saharan Africa, it is estimated that more than 230 million urban populations currently live in informal settlements. The numbers keep bulging daily,” observed Mr Arwa.

The first phase of KISIP saw Nakuru county receive a Sh429.7 million grant from the World Bank that was majorly channeled towards improving the drainage infrastructure, waste management, and tarmacking of roads in 8 slums, as well as the installation of flood lights.

The slums that benefitted in the first phase included Kaptembwa, the biggest in Nakuru Town with a population of over 120,000.

Others were Kivumbini, Lake-View, Kwa-Ronda, Flamingo, Kaloleni and Bondeni.

Mr Kuria indicated that the upgrade was coming at a time when Governor Susan Kihika’s administration has started an ambitious plan to redesign Nakuru town as part of a master plan that seeks to improve its face and decongest the town.

“KISIP Phase I implemented a few years ago delivered civil works projects in Gilani, Kaptembwa, and Rhoda settlements in Nakuru Town West Sub-County as well as Karagita, Kamere, Kihoto and Kasarani in Naivasha Sub-County,” said Kuria.

In consultation with the community, Mr Kuria indicated that the County Project Coordination Team (CPCT) was supporting the planning, surveying, and issuance of land documents for residents of these informal settlements to enable them invest while strengthening the capacity of county officers to deliver on their mandates.

Phase I also delivered title deeds under the tenure of the security component in Tarabete, Keringet, Kasarani, Eastleigh, Kongasis, and Crater Lake.

KISIP2 is domiciled at the State Department for Housing and Urban Development and is implemented through participating county governments.

“The KISIP-2 is a game changer in improving the general living conditions through access to basic services and land tenure security to thousands of residents living in informal settlements across Nakuru County. The project has restored hope to the hopeless and given many a reason to dream again of living in sustainable communities within the urban areas of Nakuru,” said the Chief Officer.

Nakuru KISIP-2 site engineer Peris Wachira stated that the tarmacking of a 950-meter-long road and 6-meter carriageway in Lake View was 90 percent complete, while works on 1.2-kilometer road construction and 2.4-kilometer walkway improvement had kicked off in Kwa-Murogi slums.

Engineer Wachira stated that they were also working on a 1.2-kilometer project and a 300-meter sewerage network in London Estate. She affirmed that the projects would be completed within the stipulated timelines of one year.

Vice Chairperson to the Settlement Executive Committee that works with KISIP in Lakeview Ms Mary Wangari indicated that over 200 youth in Nakuru town were a happy lot after securing jobs in the upgrade project.

Ms Wangari noted that some of the access roads in low-income settlements that were impassable in the past whenever it rained have now been transformed in the first phase and second phases of the project.

Ms Linet Kerubo a resident of Kwa-Murogi welcomed the project stating that it will uplift their living standards from the dilapidated area.

“We have been having difficulty in road access, poor sanitation, lack of electricity, and even the ownership of plots we are living in but with this project, we are optimistic that we are going to live a dignified life by having all the required amenities because we can see upgrading of roads and some of us are going to get title deeds to own some of the plots,” said Kerubo.

KISIP project further seeks to supplement the national Government’s efforts to provide affordable housing.

Mr Arwa noted that KISIP is intended to upgrade informal settlements by designing a national strategy to look into ways of creating formal structures.

The National KISIP Coordinator revealed that the strategy will be cascaded and adopted by counties to address the issue of informal settlements where people live in degrading conditions.

“It is a key Vision 2030 enabler project anchored in the government’s agenda of enabling residents in participating informal settlements within selected counties to benefit by having access to basic infrastructure services and land tenure security,” noted Mr Arwa.

A recent study by the State Department for Housing and Urban Development identified 1,400 informal settlements in our country, and this number is growing. It also indicated that 65 percent of Kenyans living in urban areas live in slums where they cannot access basic services and amenities, are prone to rising cases of violence and crime, and pay a premium price to access services such as water and electricity.

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