Recourse of Tenure and Sanitation: Tudor Moroto Paradise Informal Settlement

By Shadrack Mbaka, MuST

Security of land tenure continues to be one of the most contentious issues in the coastal areas of Mombasa, Kwale and Kilifi Counties, over time this has sparked heated debates between slum dwellers with the national government on one side and squatters on the other. Informal settlements are often put up on public (government owned) or private (individual or company owned) lands. In both cases, urban or peri-urban informal settlements are viewed as “illegal urban dwellers,” such descriptive adjectives of the urban poor has triggered urban social and infrastructural exclusions, where then local authorities (now County governments) considered informal settlements to be illegitimate beneficiaries of basic services, adequate housing, clean and appropriate water or sanitation and other human rights.

Mombasa Island

Mombasa Island

A huge number of similarities can be drawn between settlements situated on government land and those on private land based on the urban planning principles the category of land. Where an informal settlement is established can present complexities to the living situation of the urban poor.

Tudor Moroto Paradise informal settlement, in Mombasa County is one such settlement; grappling with people issues of tenure and infrastructure. The settlement is located along the shore lines of the Indian Ocean on the main island of Mombasa. Moroto paradise settlement began in 1985 with a handful population, with most of the inhabitants working in nearby industries and beach resorts, a decade later the settlement had expanded downhill to boarder the sea, currently the settlement is approximated to have a population of 12,000 people.

Tudor Moroto Paradise Informal Settlement

Tudor Moroto Paradise Informal Settlement

Moroto Paradise settlement is classified into three clusters; Tudor Moroto, Simitini and Bandarini. Since the year 2002, residents have continued to face eviction threats from the County government of Mombasa and “self imposed land owners”. The county government of Mombasa in sections of the media has been quoted to have warned residents of the informal settlement at Tudor Creek that they are living in an unsafe area. The County Lands executive Francis Thoya intimated that more than 10,000 people have encroached on the creek along the ocean, famously known as Tudor Moroto, and are living in danger.

Moroto, boarders the sea line

Moroto, boarders the sea line

The county government argues that the residents risk being swept away in case of a Tsunami or movement of the tectonic plates, which Mombasa Island seats on. Tectonic plates are pieces of the Earth’s crust and uppermost mantle, together referred to as the lithosphere consisting of oceanic crust and continental crust.

However, Mzee Shaban one of the founding members of the settlement, argues “Moroto used to be a forest that boarders the sea and with the upbeat of the rural-urban migration necessitated by the search for employment in the coastal town of Mombasa and more so between 1991-2012 the settlement had established, some of the residents have lived in the settlement for the last 30 years and it’s only fair for the government to regularize the land which would lead to an upgrading agenda. We are not violating any environmental laws, what we need is an engagement with government on an alternative”.

Badilisha Maisha savings scheme ( altering our lives), a savings group affiliated to Muungano wa Wanavijiji (Federation of Slum dwellers, Kenya) is currently mobilizing communities in Moroto paradise to address issues of secure tenure, water and sanitation, housing and improved livelihoods. Rashid Mutua, Muungano national leader expressed, “The issues raised by the members of the federation in Moroto paradise are real and require urgent attention of all stakeholders, but for this to happen the federation intends to support the community amalgamate its own settlement data to take forward the negotiation bit”.

Members of the Badilisha Maisha savings group, in one of their bi weekly meetings.

Members of the Badilisha Maisha savings group, in one of their bi weekly meetings.

The resilience of the Moroto Community is un rivaled, the community through its own initiative through the Badilisha Maisha savings scheme, as a way of bringing and mobilizing residents together, the group has set its own pace by putting up a social hall/resource centre, that offers the community a comfort of meeting space, the resource centre also intends to serve as a nursery learning centre for kids in the neighborhood to begin nurturing their future.

The only existing sanitation facility in the settlement

The only existing sanitation facility in the settlement

These are some of the extreme conditions that Moroto residents are grappling with, especially expressed through the community’s struggles with sanitation. As demonstrated by Mwero Mkala, a resident of Moroto Paradise and a member of the local savings scheme, men, women and children of Moroto depend on one semi-permanent sanitation facility and risk their safety and general health each time they use the toilets in their community. Despite this problem, there is the need to improve the situation in Moroto, communities hesitate to permanently upgrade and build upon the land in fear of being evicted by landowners. This lack of secure tenure allows the situation in Moroto to continue to deteriorate, leaving the residents to endure living conditions that violate their human rights.

The complexity of land ownership and security plays a significant role in slum development and possibilities for upgrading. Through data collection process (enumerations and mapping/profiling), the federation begins unpacking potential solutions and opportunities available to the residents of Moroto, aiding the community as they continue advocating for their land and service rights.

Rashid Mutua, takes a group photo with residents of Moroto, outside their Resource centre

Rashid Mutua, takes a group photo with residents of Moroto, outside their Resource centre

Dining with less danger: mapping food and environmental hazards in Mathare, Nairobi

 

A food vendor in Mathare going about his business

A food vendor in Mathare going about his business

Street vendors play an important role in securing access to food for the residents of low-income settlements in many cities. Yet they are often seen as providing unsafe food and contributing to environmental degradation. In Nairobi, the local federation of the urban poor, Muungano wa Wanavijiji, set out to explore how to improve food safety and work with street vendors and livestock keepers, who are in most cases also local residents. This briefing describes how community-led mapping, including innovative techniques such as balloon mapping, helps create knowledge, and identify new initiatives that reflect local communities’ needs and priorities.

You can download the Policy briefing paper jointly written in partnership with Muungano Support Trust, International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and Development Planning Unit  http://www.mediafire.com/view/f1tifb64cc683h4/Food_Safety_Briefing.pdf/

Know Your City: Discussing Community-Collected Data at World Urban Forum 7

 

Cross Posted From http://www.sdinet.org/blog

 

Thursday, 10 April 2014

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By Ariana MacPherson, SDI Secretariat

There has been a lot of discussion at this week’s World Urban Forum about the use of data as a key tool in the development of inclusive, sustainable cities. Key to this discussion is how data can be used in the cities of Africa, Asia and Latin America, most of which still face major challenges around urban poverty and whose city development strategies, for the most part, continue to exclude the large majority of these cities’ populations – the urban poor. But yesterday at SDI’s networking event, a strategically different approach to data was presented and discussed. The Know Your City campaign – a global campaign for gathering citywide data on slums as the basis for inclusive partnerships between the urban poor and their local governments – was presented as a critical component of the push for urban data. When communities of the urban poor collect data about their own communities, in partnership with their local and national governments, they are armed with the necessary tools to become key players in the development of strategies of urban development that take into account the realities and needs of the city’s urban poor majority.

In our networking event, delegates from SDI-affiliated urban poor federations and support NGOs, the SDI Secretariat, and key international networks and agencies discussed the importance of this campaign in greater detail. Jack Makau of the SDI Secretariat spoke on the history of SDI’s data collection strategies. SDI-affiliated federations of the urban poor have been collecting information about themselves for decades. This data has led to upgrading projects in affiliates across Africa, Asia and Latin America, and has formed the basis of large-scale slum upgrading interventions in India, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Kenya and more recently, Uganda.

 

Jack Makau, SDI

Jack Makau, SDI

In the last year, however, the SDI network has begun to standardize and aggregate this data in a way that we have not been able to before. This means that urban poor communities have expanded their scope – from collecting data only about the settlements where they live, to collecting data on all the slum settlements in their cities. This includes demographic, spatial and economic information that allows for a picture of the whole city – data that can be used to drive communities’ negotiations with local government for slum upgrading and development at the citywide scale. The accuracy and ownership of the data is enhanced because it is collected and used by communities in discussions with city governments on upgrading plans and programs, meaning that the communities themselves have a greater stake in the need for accurate, up-to-date information.

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These claims were supported by the experiences of SDI affiliates from Kenya and Zimbabwe. Catherine Sekai, national leader of the Zimbabwe Homeless People’s Federation, related that the Federation, alongside their local authority, “profiled the entire city of Harare, settlement by settlement” to identify peoples’ needs on the ground. This led to the transfer of land by the city to the communities for the construction of upgraded houses in Dzivaresekwa Extension, one of Harare’s largest slums.

 

Irene Karanja, MUST

Irene Karanja, MUST

Another example of the power of community-collected data came from Irene Karanja, executive director of Muungano Support Trust, support NGO to the Kenyan urban poor federation Muungano wa Wanavijiji. Karanja shared some key findings from 300 community-driven profiles from slums in 20 cities and towns across Kenya. Two central issues emerged from these profiles: land and sanitation. Most of the land occupied by slums in Kenya is privatized, and currently under high threat of eviction from developers looking to take back the land as land values in Kenya’s cities continue to rise. Because of the status of land ownership, interventions around sanitation have been nearly impossible and continue to threaten health and security of slum residents, particularly women.

Karanja concluded her presentation by calling to action the Kenyan government and global urban development stakeholders, stating that, “The dialogue [around urban development] has to change now as we move towards Habitat III – poor people need a chance to expose the data that we are talking about today. Communities have data that government does not have. Despite this, government does not want to accept this data. It is our hope that this data can be used in Kenya to form part of the national urban agenda.”

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Two of SDI’s key institutional partners in the Know Your City campaign also participated in the event – Jean Pierre Elong-Mbassi, Secretary General of United Cities & Local Governments Africa (UCLG-A) and Anaclaudia Rossbach, Regional Advisor to Latin America and the Caribbean from Cities Alliance. Elong-Mbassi reminded the group that at least 50% of Africa’s cities are made up of slums, and that “any mayor interested in managing a city in a comprehensive way cannot ignore slum dwellers.” Elong-Mbassi echoed the call to action of the Know Your City campaign, requesting that local governments “leave [behind] the moment where we use second-hand data to [understand] reality,” instead, he went on to say, “We want first-hand data from communities to be the mine of knowledge for the management of cities.”

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Lastly, Anaclaudia Rossbach of Cities Alliance, coming from her experience in municipal government and her background as an economist, went on to endorse the need for community-collected slum data as critical to the successful implementation of slum upgrading projects. Indeed, with SDI sitting as a member of the Cities Alliance Executive Committee, the Know Your City campaign is part of the Cities Alliance medium term agenda. Rossbach emphasized the key point that it is only feasible to collect accurate data if the local people take ownership of the process – a critical component of SDI’s data-collection strategies.

 

Food Safety in Nairobi informal settlements

Why Food Safety matters in Informal Settlements

By Shadrack Mbaka and Grace Watetu

Food security and safety exists when all persons, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. However, this can only happen when concerted action at all levels is synergized. It is important that each nations and governments adopt a strategy consistent with its resources and capacities to achieve its individual goals and, at the same time, cooperate regionally and internationally in order to organize collective solutions to global issues of food security. In a world of increasingly interlinked institutions, societies and economies, coordinated efforts and shared responsibilities are most essential.

Urban street vendors are turning out to be the major providers of food in low-income urban settlements; regardless of their noble role is society they are often seen as a threat to society. As perceived by both communities and city planners, their stalls happen to increase congestion in the very limited public spaces of the settlements, often causing obstructions; and inadequate food safety measures, including poor storage facilities and contamination from nearby waste dumps and open sewers, associates them to poor health.

As a result of these perceived view of the vendors, street food vendors often face the possibility of being evicted from their scene of vending or forced closure by city authorities during disease outbreaks. This does not only affect livelihoods of the vendors but also affects and destabilizes access to food for the urban poor trapped in abject poverty, who tend to be most dependent on street vendors.

What happens when we stop viewing food vendors as an impediment to urban planning, especially on the utilization of public spaces? As a movement (Muungano wa Wanavijiji, Kenya federation of the Urban poor), Muungano Support Trust, our development partner International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and the Development Planning Unit, of the University College London (DPU) recognises the important role of street vendors and supporting them to improve the safety and quality of their products is a major opportunity for increasing urban food security and safety.

Why Food Security/Safety in urban informal settlements Matters

Informal settlements are human settlements incorporating communities that are characterized by one or more of the following development and planning shortcomings: insecurity of land tenure, poor structural housing conditions, deficient access to safe drinking water and sanitation, and severe overcrowding.

Informal settlements are located in areas where no development has taken place, owing either to unstable land (Bondeni; Mathare), or proximity to garbage dumps or industrial areas. Most informal settlements lack accessible roads and government-run facilities such as health facilities and services.

Mathare; Bondeni village

Mathare; Bondeni village

Access to food, let alone its nutritional value, is a major challenge for slum dwellers. Some even cheaper alternatives include street food and fast food, which is sometimes processed, unhygienic, and lacking in nutritional value. In Mathare; Bondeni Village, cow, fish and chicken intestines from slaughter houses such as Kiamaiko and Barma Meat Markets find their way into the community as cheap protein. Given that 26% of children die as a result of diarrhea each year in the urban slums, food safety is a major force affecting health care.

Provision of clean water poses a major challenge to slum dwellers. (Mathare Zonal Plan 2010) found that many low-income households spend 10–20% of their income on water; however, even these expenditures do not guarantee that the water is available or clean.

Communities’ health status in informal settlements is determined by multiple, intersecting factors including income, food, water, security, sanitation and solid waste disposal, political and policy frameworks, and availability of quality health services.

Waste disposal poses a major problem for slum residents, with negative implications for their. Solid waste services are a rare spectacle in poor urban settings since most slums do not benefit from city services. As a result, residents live among mountains of garbage and the associated health repercussions.

Heaps of garbage close to river and dwelling structures

Heap of garbage close to river and dwelling structures; Mathare

However, in Nairobi, dumping sites are a major source of livelihood for many residents.

Whereas, toilets are often privately owned and/or pay-per-use, many residents resort to defecating in the open or in plastic bags. As a result, human waste can be found in plastic bags or out in the open on the streets of informal settlements. These areas need well-managed, officially licensed and community-supported toilets.

Government and stakeholder planners must ensure that all of these areas are addressed to truly make an impact.

In order to create a clear understanding of the physical and social constraints in the space within which street vendors operate, and integrate it in community-led infrastructure planning in the settlements. In order to bring out a clear picture of these physical and social constraints, the team is geared towards providing data and information that will inform Kenya’s Food policy.

Collaborative Acts

The project intends to document how the activities of street vendors contributes directly or indirectly to access to food for local residents, but can also result in inadequate food safety (and at times limited access to food) because of their exposure to environmental risks. The work takes place in selected areas of three informal settlements of Nairobi: Mathare, Kibera and Mukuru. The documentation, which has already begun in Mathare, will be in relation to infrastructure such as footpaths and roads; public and private light/electricity sources; public and private toilets etc and environmental risks.

This collaboration on Food safety in urban poor settlement, intends to build on the existing and ongoing mapping of housing and facilities undertaken by Muungano and MuST within the settlements, and contribute to knowledge and reflection by local organisations (federations, savings groups, street vendors associations) on how to expand community-based activities to public spaces within the settlement and improve food security as well as safety.

Capacity Enhancement

Needs and challenges stand out, as the two driving forces associated with capacity building and technical ability: the need for informal settlements to improve food safety and quality measures and the challenges of meeting this need. This collaborative study at some point, will discuss the need for improvement of food quality and safety systems in developing countries in the context of food security, public health protection and infrastructure development that will also examine means of addressing the associated challenges through new approaches in capacity building and technical assistance.

Approach

Ongoing Focussed group discussion

Ongoing Focused group discussion

Community led Balloon Mapping Exercise

Community led Balloon Mapping Exercise

Through a participatory appraisal, focus group discussion (FGD) and community led participatory Balloon mapping, mobile application mapping the project has already collected data: Community-led mapping and FGD to get insights about the uses of public spaces (i.e. primarily main streets and walkways that are shared as children’s playgrounds, animals roaming& livestock keeping, street vending locations, waste dumping sites etc.

 

THE 11TH EAST AFRICAN HUB MEETING REPORT HELD IN DARES SALAAM

By Edwin Simiyu, MUST Introduction Dar-es-Salaam is popularly believed to mean the “HARBOUR (HAVEN) of PEACE”, the name having come from the Persian-Arabic Bandar-ul-Salaam (Swahili-Bandari ya Salama). Other contemporary records of the City’s early years which are the late 1860’s indicate that the name simply means “The House (or Abode) of (Peace or Salvation)” and that it was originally chosen by the City’s founder Seyyid Majid Sultan of Zanzibar in 1862. Hub 1 Dar-es-Salaam was declared a Township in 1920 and in 1949 it was upgraded to a Municipality under the first appointed British Mayor Mr. Percy Everett. When Tanganyika became independent in 1961, Dar-es-Salaam Municipality was elevated to a City status and continued to be the headquarters of the then Independent Tanganyika and later the United Republic of Tanzania. The symbol which was adopted soon after Dar –es- Salaam was elevated to City status is shown. It depicts the natural resources, local activities and the country’s independence symbol. The City is located between latitudes 6.36 degrees and 7.0 degrees to the south of Equator and longitudes 39.0 and 33.33 to the east of Greenwich. It is bounded by the Indian Ocean on the east and by the Coast Region on the other sides. The City experiences a modified type of equatorial climate. It is generally hot and humid throughout the year with an average temperature of 29ºC. The hottest season is from October to March during which temperatures can raise up to 35ºC. It is relatively cool between May and August, with temperature around 25ºC. There are two main rain seasons; a short rain season from October to December and a long rain season between March and May. The average rainfall is 1000mm (lowest 800mm and highest 1300mm). Humidity is around 96% in the mornings and 67% in the afternoons. The climate is also influenced by the southwesterly monsoon winds from April to October and northwesterly monsoon winds between November and March Travelling The Kenyan delegation to the 11th East African hub consisted of 10 members (7 federation members, 1 from government and 2 NGO members). A team of 9 people travelled from Nairobi whereas the tenth person travelled from Mombasa. Both teams travelled on 7th March 2014. The Nairobi team left Nairobi at 6.15 am and arrived in Dar-es- salaam at 9.45 pm whereas the Mombasa member left Mombasa at around 7 a.m. and arrived in Dar-es- salaam at 8.30 p.m. The members of the delegation included

  1. Rashid Mutua – the National Chairman, Kenyan Federation
  2. Wilberforce Onyango – NEC member
  3. Patricia – federation member, Thika
  4. Ruth Kimani – federation member, Nakuru
  5. Felista Ndunge – federation member, Nairobi
  6. Henry Otunge – federation member, Nairobi
  7. Juliet Ndunge – federation member, Mombasa
  8. Anne – Thika Municipality
  9. Khelion Nyambuga – Muungano Support Trust
  10. Edwin Simiyu – Muungano Support Trust
Figure 1: The Regency park hotel

Figure 1: The Regency park hotel

We were taken from the stage by our hosts and taken to the Regency Park Hotel located in Mikocheni, Old Bagamoyo Road. At the hotel we were received by Hadija (The National chairperson, Tanzanian federation) and Masinde (federation member). March 8, 2014 We had the first day for the meeting. The program for the day was as follows a)      Introduction of all the members present: Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Zambia and SDI b)      Introductory speech from the hosts: Hadija c)       Country presentations: Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania d)      Minutes and review of the 10th hub meeting From the introductions, the hub consisted of 10 members from Uganda, 10 members from Kenya, 5 members from Zambia and 25 members from Tanzania. We also had Anni and Celine De Cruz from SDI as part of the hub meeting. The Ugandan team came with a councilor from Kampala municipality as part of the delegation. Therefore the 11th hub had at least two government officials as part of the delegates.

Figure 2: Part of the delegates for the 11th East African hub meeting

Figure 2: Part of the delegates for the 11th East African hub meeting

Hadija from Tanzania then officially opened the 11th hub meeting. She invited all members to be as interactive as possible and make the 11th hub a success. She highlighted in brief the program for the hub which included: day1 as country presentations and discussions, day2 as the profiling training, day3 as the field work and day4 as the process review and reflection. Country presentations The countries presented in the order Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Zambia. Some of the country indicators include

Kenya Uganda
Members – 64200Savings groups – 616 Daily Savings – 4244 USD (as per the current reporting period) Loans from Daily Savings – 1839 USD (as per the current reporting period) UPF Savings – USD 663,051 Loans from UPF – USD 2,020,902 UPF Repayments – USD 327,130 Savings  groups– 789Members – 43000 Amount in daily savings – USD 355,397.28 Suubi savings – USD 34684.8 Suubi repayment – USD 17200

Partnerships across the hub have been built between national government, local government, universities and private sector. In Uganda for example, there is a working partnership with Universities of Makerere and Norway University on planning related issues, municipality and private sector. With private sector, they have a strong relationship with companies like Airtel which has assisted in sponsoring some of the federation activities. Tanzania In Tanzania, they have a working partnership with the University of Dares Salaam on planning issues. They have also established partnerships with the Municipalities on settlement issues. In Kenya, they have a working partnership between the federation and the universities of Nairobi and California, Berkeley which has been useful in planning issues. There are also strong partnerships built between the federation and county governments as well as some of the municipalities. Zambia In Zambia, the partnership between the federation and the university has opened opportunities where members of the federation and the support NGO have regular lecture sessions with the masters and other postgraduate students on settlement upgrading and planning issues. On a regular basis, they go and make presentations within the university with some of these students being senior government officials. They therefore get an opportunity to engage them on the slum issues which is useful in changing their perceptions. Before they started these sessions, most senior government officials were only thinking about demolition as the only solution to slums but with continued lectures there has been shift in thinking and most of these officials have therefore opened their minds to the discussions. Celine from SDI challenged the federation leaders on the need to develop a sheet of the different issues of all the settlements within their cities with each sheet addressing a specific issue e.g. Sheet 1: Evictions

Name of settlement Number of evictions When it last happened
Bukoto 3 2008
Naguru 5 2013

Sheet 2: Toilets

Name of settlement Number of toilets Number of bathrooms
Bukoto 23 12
Naguru 53 34

This can also be used for saving schemes. The different sheets can then be put together into a book which the leaders can be using for different engagement forums. This then acts as a monitoring tool for the federation leaders and also as an advocacy tool when engaging the city leadership. Sarah from Uganda (also a member of the core team) updated the meeting on the resolutions that were made by the core team as a result of the last hub meeting. The core team met and agreed on the need to develop an agenda for each of the hub meeting. For instance the 11th East African hub agenda was agreed upon to be profiling. The core team also agreed on the need to develop new leaders e.g. exposure of other federation members and avoiding using the same people over and over again. The subsequent hub meetings will therefore be expected to bring on board new faces from the federation. The delegates should be chosen based on the hub agenda. For example the 11th hub was about profiling and most of the delegates were expected to be part of the profiling process in their respective countries. The members of the core team in East Africa are Hadija (Tanzania), Sarah (Uganda) and Muturi (Kenya) who have been tasked to give directions to the hub meeting. Others are Felista (from Kenya) and Hassan (from Uganda). Exchanges agreed on in the 10th hub – the leadership exchange request for Tanzania to Kenya/Uganda was called off because it was not strategic. Need to attach a concrete issue on any exchanges for it to be supported. The Kenyan sanitation exchange request to India was approved and they should be able to go to India to capacitate women leaders. Country discussions In the afternoon session, minutes of the previous hub meeting were read and approved as being the true account of the proceedings of the 10th EA hub held in Mombasa. From the minutes Some of the action points from the previous hub were Uganda - Carry out Municipal wide profiling in 10 cities; Follow up on identified savings schemes in the course of profiling; Monitoring and Evaluation Tanzania – Training of profiling by Dec 2013, City wide profiling of DSM, Leadership and Governance training on the management of the federation to Kenya and Uganda on the concept boundaries between NGO and federation, Improvement of Housing and sanitation Kenya – Strengthen existing partnerships with governments and academia and establish; Produce 3 cities of community profiles for community negotiations; Organize exchange on establishing and building partnerships, livelihoods and community profiling; Women empowerments in 3 cities to establish community construction companies to compete for government tenders and contracts; Lobbying for public land within 15 counties for community projects, key being sanitation; and Engage with county government in 15 counties to establish The Model of a people based county forums from village level to county level. Each country had to discuss the level of achievement of these action points as well as the challenges faced and support needed at the country level. Uganda has finished the municipal wide profiling for the ten cities. The major challenge raised by Uganda is the travelling modalities to the hub meeting. As the result of the night travel ban on buses within Kenya, Ugandan team had to travel for up to 36 hours. They had to spend two nights in both Kenya and Tanzania on their way to dares salaam. A discussion was therefore generated on whether the hub delegates should be reduced and people use the aircraft to cut down on the travelling time or to maintain the current hub set up. The overall consensus of this discussion was that the hub should retain the current set up where up to 10 people from each of the participating countries are able to attend unlike the previous hubs where only three delegates were facilitated to participate in the hub. In order to take care of Uganda’s request, the hub should be adjusted to allow resting before the meeting. An example could be people arriving at the hub at least 12 hours before the meeting. The delegates could also be allowed to have breaks in between the journey. This could involve travelling from Kampala/Dares Salaam and spending the night in Nairobi before proceeding with the remaining half of the journey the following day. This will reduce the fatigue unlike where people have to sleep in the bus and wait for the morning. Tanzania most action points were not achieved. For instance the leadership and governance training was cancelled since it was not well anchored within the wider federation agendas. The profiling training was to happen during this hub as was not possible to do it before March 2014. As part of the partnership strengthening efforts, the Tanzanian federation is thinking about organizing forums in which councilors and other local leaders will be invited to participate. This will then provide a forum for networking and sharing the federation issues with these authorities. Both Kenya and Uganda have had similar forums which were of the opinion that they are good in building these partnerships. In Kenya, there are breakfast meetings within the federation and county leaders in at least two counties. In Uganda, there has been such forum with councilors and they have been very fruitful. Tanzania was therefore encouraged to think on developing concrete agendas for these meetings so that they don’t end up making them political forums. Kenya achieved some of the partnership building action points as well as being in the process of signing MOU’s with at least two counties. The profiling exercise was achieved as agreed upon in the previous hub meeting. The major challenges as brought out by the Kenyans included: Lack of cooperation from the county leadership as there are leaders who take longer time to understand the federation processes. As a result of the new county system, there are also bottlenecks as there are a number of leaders who are still familiarizing themselves with their roles. This has therefore slowed down some of the processes that had been started before the county system came into place. There was a therefore need for support on the breakfast forums as well as exchanges for these leaders to increase the federation bargaining for the space within the county system. The Kenyan federation also needs support to sharing of the profiling report both at the local, county and national level and also monitoring and evaluation of the saving schemes especially those established recently. Zambia also shared some of the challenges it has been facing. They include implementation of policies at the country level. An example is the land and housing policies which are not favorable to the federation members. The federation therefore has still a lot of engagements that it needs to do with the relevant authorities so as to come up with friendly policies to the urban poor. They also felt that they have been lacking behind in most SDI processes such as profiling. They were advised to work closely with their support NGO so as to be proactive in SDI processes. For instance the profiling process was introduced at the same time to all SDI countries but only those that put their house in order in the shortest time possible have been able to do it so far. Therefore there is need to appreciate that no countries are prioritized in SDI process. All countries have equal chance. The other major challenge that they have been having is the sustainability of the loaning of the livelihood money. They lack the systems for revolving the fund and hence end up with insufficient funds whereas there is the growing demand from the members. There is therefore need to support the Zambian federation in establishing systems that will lead to the growth of the urban poor fund as well as sustainability of the loans.

Figure 3: Zambian federation member making their country presentation

Figure 3: Zambian federation member making their country presentation

March 9, 2014 The agenda for the day included a)      Explain the profiling process b)      Division of roles among the teams according to the profiling areas c)       Training on the data collection tools The Tanzanian federation explained how they have been doing the profiling process and how they intend to carry out these profiling. The previous profiles were conducted using the previous profiling questionnaire which was about two pages as compared to the current form which is seven pages. Therefore this was the first time they were going to use the new form for profiling and were anxious on learning the new tool and the experiences that will come from the community. They had identified 9 areas to work with in this process. They are located in two wards of Sandali and Mtoni. The Sandali settlements were Tindwa, Mamboleo A, Mamboleo B, Kibunga, Kisiwani and Mpogo. The Mtoni settlements included Relini, Mtoni and Saba Saba. A team of 15 people had been mobilized in each of the 9 settlements for the FGDs. Among the group included the village elders, the chairmen, the elderly male and female and the young people. The delegates were then to be divided into 9 groups of at least 4 people. The four people should include a federation leader from Tanzania, a profiling team member from either Uganda or Kenya, a professional person and a federation leader from either Uganda or Kenya. The profiling team member will be the leader of the group. Each group was then to pick on a person who will i)                    Lead the interviews, ii)                   Write down the responses, iii)                  Lead the GPS exercise The teams were first to meet the municipality leadership in each of the wards before the embarking on the exercise. Meetings were therefore organized both in Sandali and Mtoni where the local councilors were informed about the process and the importance of the exercise. The councilor from Uganda was very useful in discussing with these municipal leaders how the federation works with the Ugandan municipalities.

Figure 4: Division of roles among the delegates for each of the settlement

Figure 4: Division of roles among the delegates for each of the settlement

The training of the data collection was led by the Kenyan team. The training involved the filling of the questionnaire, picking of GPS coordinates and tallying of key services and facilities within the settlement.

Figure 5: Training session held in Kenyatta hall

Figure 5: Training session held in Kenyatta hall

The Kenyan team participated in the various sections of the questionnaire to explain what is expected of each question and how to ask them in way that can ignite the discussion.  There was a health discussion especially on the tallying of the services and key facilities within the settlement. The Ugandan team has gets these figures through estimation. The structures are also obtained by counting them on the google earth. The Indian experience on the other hand is that they count for a given street and then they use that to estimate for the rest of the streets by multiplying the number per street by the number of streets. This works well for them since most of their streets are homogenous and what is in one street is likely to duplicate in the next street. The Kenyan on the other hand are able to count these structures as the profiling is happening and be able to get real figures which they can input in the sections of the form requiring these figures. The Tanzanian federation therefore had a choice to adopt a strategy that they can use to get these figures since the figures needs to be as close as possible to the real figures. The Ugandans were also challenged to reconsider how realistic are there figures to avoid generating reports that are farther from the reality. The Tanzanians agreed to do tallying of key services and facilities though at a later date once the questionnaires have been filled to get these figures and input them in the final report. In fact Celine challenged every country to look into the questionnaire in four different segments. They are: a)      Questionnaire filling – a two to three hour FGD session at the community level b)      Structure count c)       Toilet and other services count d)      GPS coordinates The team to go to the community was therefore restructured as follows to facilitate carry out three important roles of asking the question, filling the form and picking the GPS coordinates. i)                    SDI federation leader – a person who is conversant with the profiling process and who can be able to control the discussions. ii)                   National leader (Tanzanian federation) – a person who understands the politics of the ground and can be able to handle key issues emerging from the discussions. iii)                 Settlement leader – a person who comes from the settlement and is key in connecting with the people from the settlement. iv)                 Professional – non federation members who are useful in the profiling exercise. The rest of the delegates were then allocated randomly to each of the group for learning purposes as well as participatory role. Some were very useful in interpretation issues. For instance most Tanzanians do not understand English whereas most Ugandans do not understand Kiswahili. The Kenyans therefore provided an interface between the two categories of delegates.

Figure 6: The distribution of teams to some of the 9 settlements

Figure 6: The distribution of teams to some of the 9 settlements

March 10, 2014 The program for the day was profiling of the nine settlements identified during the training session the day before. The teams departed from the hotel at 8.30 am in two teams to the two wards that were being profiled.

Figure 7: Enthusiastic profiling team headed to Mtoni and Sandali wards having just alighted at Mtoni municipality offices

Figure 7: Enthusiastic profiling team headed to Mtoni and Sandali wards having just alighted at Mtoni municipality offices

The teams made a stop at Mtoni ward offices where the Sandali teams were taken to Sandali to meet the ward officers and the Mtoni team also proceeded to meet the ward officers who were waiting for the team. At the ward offices, the team introduced itself to the ward officers and the federation work within Mtoni ward. The team consisted members of Tanzanian federation, the ward chairmen, Celine from SDI, Ugandan federation members, the two municipality representatives from Kenya and Uganda, and the Kenyan federation members who had been allocated to Mtoni ward. The team explained the importance of the profiling process and the negotiating power that the process will create in the settlements in order to structure the settlement issues and improve the decision making process at the municipality level on settlement issues. The councilor from Uganda explained to the fellow municipal leaders how the profiling has been used in Uganda to create a forum for the community and the municipality to share ideas on how to solve settlement issues. This includes how it has been useful in prioritizing projects at the municipal level and the increased level of community participation in the municipality activities. The municipality officials were excited that the process has already happened in Kenya and Uganda and challenged the federation to involve them in the data discussions once the profiling data has been collected. The team then split to their different settlements of Mtoni wards i.e. Saba Saba, Mtoni and Relini. Simiyu met the three GPS teams for the ward and trained them on how to use the GPS to collect the locational boundaries for the three settlements. This included setting up the GPS device to ensure the same spatial reference system is used during the data collection, marking of the boundaries points as they move around the settlement, recording of the marked points on the GPS checklist and finding the marked points within the device. For the sake of recording, a code was developed for each of the three areas i.e. MR – for Mtoni Relini, MM – for Mtoni Mtoni and MS – for Mtoni SabaSaba. Khelion and Otunge assisted in training the teams in Sandali ward. The teams therefore proceeded to their various assignments. The GPS team had to do a transect walk across the settlement boundaries as the rest of the team proceeded to the meeting points where the FGD was happening. Walking across the Mtoni ward, a number of issues come out very clearly. The transect walk therefore can be a very important step that can be carried out before the actual administration of the questionnaire as it can bring out most of the issues that will surface during the discussions. Most of them are related to locational problems, social crimes, infrastructural issues and eviction threats. Some of these issues are summarized in the subsequent paragraphs. Locational problems The settlements within the ward are located near the ocean. There are wide spread cases of solid

Figure 9: Some of the locational problems in Mtoni ward

Figure 9: Some of the locational problems in Mtoni ward

Waste dumping within and around the settlement and also steep slopes that poses risks to the settlement due to its location. There is clear evidence of flooding during the rainy season as well as dampness as a result of proximity to the ocean. There is even a warning to the extent of people not being supposed to live near this location. The photos shown in figure 9 summarize some of these locational problems. Social problems There are wide spread cases of drug abuse among the youths. Most of these youths smoke marijuana and have established bases along the river where there are lots of tree where they can hide inside. There are also those who have established bases along the river. As you move across the settlement you come across many of those groups. Most of them are youths between 15 and 25 years of age. Most of them have also failed to continue with schooling and resorted to drug addiction.  There are also cases of industrial hazards within the settlement. the rivers have been contaminated by oils released by these industries and the color of the water is yellowish.

Figure 10: A section of the youths idling along the river banks and involved in drug abuse

Figure 10: A section of the youths idling along the river banks and involved in drug abuse

Land Tenure and Eviction Threats. The settlements are located on a land belonging to ocean riparian reserve on one side and the railway/ road reserve on the other side. A small section of the settlement is privately owned. There has been eviction threat to the settlement especially by the government as a result of the regular flooding issues during the time of high water levels. Currently, the settlement still faces threats of evictions. There are demolition marks as you walk around the settlement. See figure 11 below

Figure 11: Demolition marks within the settlements

Figure 11: Demolition marks within the settlements

Infrastructural issues They range from lack of proper sewerage system to poor road network within the settlements. Most toilets along the river drain into the river whereas there is a lot of dumping across the river as a protective measure against landslides. The existing drainages are closing up and needs to be reopened to allow free flow of water since the settlements are on a sloppy ground. The settlements are generally unclean as solid waste is disposed anyhow within the settlement. There are no public health facilities within the settlements. Residents have to access the health facilities which are located outside the settlements or use the private health facilities which are relatively expensive. The photos below summarizes some of these infrastructural issues

Figure 12: Sanitation and other infrastructural problems

Figure 12: Sanitation and other infrastructural problems

March 11, 2014 The day’s agenda was review of the profiling exercise carried out the previous day, discussing the challenges involved and way forward for the Tanzanian and Zambian federation. Each of the nine groups gave a report of their work highlighting the challenges involved. Some of the issues brought included a)      Adequate mobilization – some of the groups had to explain the profiling process afresh to the focus group discussion. Most of the mobilized had no idea of what the whole process was all about and some even confused the federation to be a charity organization which had come to give them some goodies. Some of the experienced federation members from other countries had to assist in selling the idea to the communities. There is therefore need for a serious mobilization strategy to be devised for the Tanzanian federation to make the process a bit easier for the profiling team. Before profiling happens there is need for forums to be organized at the community level to familiarize the people on the federation activities as well as importance of the federation data collection tools. b)      Familiarization with the questionnaire – some of the groups had a challenge of getting the right answers as the person asking the questions was reading them direct from the questionnaire hence making it hard for people to understand. Since the translation from English to Kiswahili may have lost the meaning of some of the questions, there is need for the person asking the questions to be fully aware of the questionnaire so that he/she can be able to paraphrase it in a language that is understandable to the people. c)       Getting the right audience – some groups had more men than women and hence even in answering the questions there was a challenge as many of them were not fully familiarized with their settlement issues. Therefore in order to get the right information, there is need to agree on the categories of people that need to be mobilized for the FGDs. This will be useful in getting the right audience for the settlement. The Tanzanian federation was therefore given a task of improving their profiles based on the discussions of the day. They were also challenged to finish up the remaining parts of the questionnaire such as tallying information as soon as possible so as to compile a complete report for the nine settlements profiled. Later on Anni and Simiyu took through the delegates the data entry and preparation process and also some of the expected outputs from the profiling data. They therefore led the delegates through a)      Data entry process through the ENKETO form b)      Preparation of the settlement boundaries map based on the GPS coordinates c)       SDI data platform d)      Examples of analyses carried out on the data both in the SFI and Indian visualization websites The data platform is still under construction and testing and hence the federation members together with their technical teams were advised to keep on interacting with the datasets to find the best possible avenue to share the federation data. This will include the symbolization which the federation can be able to easily identify with, the key issues that needs to be analyzed on the website and the levels of packaging the data (e.g. at the city level or municipality level). The maps for the nine settlements profiled are shown in the subsequent figures.

Figure 13: The settlement boundaries for Kibunga settlement in Sandali ward

Figure 13: The settlement boundaries for Kibunga settlement in Sandali ward

Figure 14: The settlement boundary map for Kisiwani settlement in Sandali ward

Figure 14: The settlement boundary map for Kisiwani settlement in Sandali ward

Figure 15: The settlement boundary map for Mamboleo A settlement in Sandali ward

Figure 15: The settlement boundary map for Mamboleo A settlement in Sandali ward

Figure 16: The settlement boundary map for Mamboleo B settlement in Sandali ward

Figure 16: The settlement boundary map for Mamboleo B settlement in Sandali ward

Figure 17: The settlement boundary map for Mpogo settlement in Sandali ward

Figure 17: The settlement boundary map for Mpogo settlement in Sandali ward

Figure 18: The settlement boundary map for Mtoni settlement in Mtoni ward

Figure 18: The settlement boundary map for Mtoni settlement in Mtoni ward

Figure 19: The settlement boundary map for Relini settlement in Mtoni ward

Figure 19: The settlement boundary map for Relini settlement in Mtoni ward

Figure 20: The settlement boundary map for Sabasaba settlement in Mtoni ward

Figure 20: The settlement boundary map for Sabasaba settlement in Mtoni ward

Figure 21: The settlement boundary map for Tindwa settlement in Sandali ward

Figure 21: The settlement boundary map for Tindwa settlement in Sandali ward

Figure 22: Context of the Mtoni and Sandali ward as captured on google earth   Figure 22: Context of the Mtoni and Sandali ward as captured on google earth

Figure 22: Context of the Mtoni and Sandali ward as captured on google earth

Travelling back The journey was therefore a success and the team thanks God for granting us journey mercies as well as the entire SDI family for supporting and standing with member affiliates throughout the journey.

THE TOILET REINCARNATION

What a toilet can do in a Kenyan informal settlement

By Edwin Simiyu

2.5 billion People worldwide (one in three people in the world) do not have access to a toilet or sustainable sanitation. The United Nations designated November 19, 2013 as the first world toilet day. Sanitation coverage in Mathare Valley is very poor due to few public latrine facilities, a sewerage system which is in disrepair, basically non-existent public waste management system and security issues for women utilizing latrines. Latrines vary greatly in type, quality, and concentration across the valley. Overall latrine accessibility based on both household proximity to latrines and users per latrine block is poor across the valley.

According to the Muungano enumerations carried out in the year 2011, only 29% of households live within 30 meters of public latrine blocks. This means that more people have to travel long distances to access latrines. This becomes especially important for women and girls who have experienced sexual violence when accessing latrines, especially at night. The latrine blocks that do exist are strained by a high frequency of use. On average, a functional latrine block with public access is shared by 276 households (1104 people). Therefore to many of the Mathare residents who can’t have access to safe, clean and private toilets and sanitation, it is more than an inconvenience, it can be a matter of life or death.

Figure 1: A photo of the demolished toilet block as taken on February 25, 2014

Figure 1: A photo of the demolished toilet block as taken on February 25, 2014

On February 24, 2014 deep in the night when a group of youths are hired to bring down a toilet block in Mathare’s Bondeni village. This block serves mainly people around Bondeni and 3C villages. It is the main toilet block in between Mau Mau road and Juja road and hence convenient especially to people who leave deep in the settlement away from the access roads. There is a tendency of most toilet blocks being built along the major roads and hence most people staying in the deeper areas of the settlement having to walk long distances to access the toilets. This toilet block was therefore a relief to many people as they could be able to access it without having to walk for long distances. Talking to the residents, there are two possible reasons for this demolition:

a)      A possible scheme to grab the land on which the toilet is located

b)      A corruption syndicate involving the local authorities which intends to dislodge from business the management of the toilet and create a new business opportunity for a toilet block. A way of creating business for someone else is by destabilizing the existing situation.

On February 25, 2014 a team from Muungano wa Wanavijiji and the support organization (Muungano Support Trust) proceeded to the Mathare settlements to oversee the ongoing Food Safety mapping exercise by the Mathare residents. As the team was preparing the mapping materials, a group of rowdy youths barricaded the roads just next to where we were preparing the materials. Vehicles from both sides (Dandora and Town) could not be able to pass through. Most people had to walk so as to get to their destinations or connect to Thika road to pick a vehicle to town or Dandora or the Eastland areas. The team was lucky that they got on the ground before the fracas became serious. Apparently this was not the first instance for the day, at around 5 a.m. a similar incidence had occurred and the police succeeded in dispersing the youths.  This time around it was not different either. The police arrived about 20 minutes later and cleared the roads and restore normalcy on the road.

Having been delayed to begin the transect walk across the villages, the team proceeded into two, one team going to 3C and another proceeding to 3B/2B. I joined the team that went to 3C and as we began the process, a group of youths approached us and wanted to know what we were doing and why we were carrying the satellite images. Some claimed we have a photograph of the demolished toilet. With the help of the local residents who were assisting us with the mapping process, the youths were assisted to understand the ongoing food safety mapping. They no longer had any business with us and they dispersed to their strategic places as they kept on warning that they are not done yet with those who demolished the toilet block. We proceeded with the transect walk first finishing the Juja road side for both paper mapping and mobile app mapping. Once we had reached the boundary between 3C and Mashimoni No.10, we continued with the boundary road continuing all the way to the river before we embarked on the roads within the village. See figure 2.

Figure 2: Mathare Village 3C boundaries as highlighted in green

Figure 2: Mathare Village 3C boundaries as highlighted in green

As we continued with our transect walk towards the new road connecting Mau Mau road to Juja road, we suddenly started hearing gunshots on regular time intervals. First we thought it was the sound of teargas canisters fired. The intensity of the shots increased and the sound got closer and closer. It was during this moment that it dawned on us that the police were involved in a cat and mouse game with the youths and were forced to use live bullets which were shot in air to scare away the youths. As we were still there, we saw a group of youths running towards our direction.

We were forced to seek refuge in the nearby houses within the shortest time possible. Before long the police begun fishing out the purported chaos masters from hiding as they continued shooting and shouting “wapi hao vijana” (translated where are those youths). Baba Mark (a renowned elder in Mathare) who was part of our team had remained outside the house as we were hiding and being elderly had an advantage of talking with the police. The police were ready to use necessary force to crack down on the youths. It was the first experience of being in the midst of gunshots.

The residents there say it is not the first instance, and they are almost used to the scenes we were experiencing on this particular day. After about 10 minutes, we came out of our hiding places and took a head count to ensure all our members were with us. Fortunately we were all safe and sound we proceeded to the meeting place having considered the level of insecurity already created in our working environment. As we proceeded towards the meeting place, we passed by the Olympic petrol station just on the boundary between 3C and 3A. Here we noticed that more police reinforcement had arrived and ready to give back up to their colleagues who were handling the security issue.

The team was forced to call in early as the situation was growing more and more intense. Most businesses had closed including the food vendors as such situations create a perfect environment for looting. We also had to think about the security of the phones which were being used for mapping. As we were winding up, there was a commotion around the Olympic petrol station. From the eye witness account, a police officer was trying to shoot in air and accidentally shot one of his colleague. The police were trying to take care of their wounded colleague. It was evident that the situation was getting uglier as time went by and it all started by demolition of a toilet block. We left Mathare a few minutes before 4 p.m. and there was growing tension that the actual battle between the police and the youths is yet to take place. From the Mathare survey, 2011 carried out by Muungano Support Trust, University of Nairobi and University of California, Berkeley, at least 77% of residents in 3C and 69% of residents in 3A uses public toilet. The demolition of the toilet block therefore affected many people and hence the reactions being witnessed by the community members.

Katani Greenfield Housing Project Breaks Ground

Courtesy of Akiba Mashinani Trust

In its, transformative quest in addressing poverty on the premise of urban development by virtue of including the urban voice poor in the city’s planning and development frontiers, Muungano wa Wanavijiji have identified the urgent need to improve urban settlements; however the status of informality and irregularity of land tenure is an important element to be solved to improve the lives of our brothers and sisters residing in informal settlements in our urban cities.

Nairobi City, currently under the administrative jurisdiction of the Nairobi County Government is home of the most vulnerable people; in this city different organizations are involved through social empowerment strategies to empower communities living in abject informality and guide the development of self-management strategies to solve social problems, however these strategies have not been sufficient to impact because the complexities involved in securing land tenure are enormous. In most circumstances, lack of security of tenure directly shatters “sustainable livelihoods “, this is because the risks, involved touches on the basic economic survival of those who lack secure tenure. It is out this logic, that Muungano wa Wanavijiji will continue to engage the Kenyan government to ensure security of tenure trough the investment of social basic services in slums which will reasonably give the urban poor to build and rebuild their livelihoods.

3rd February 2014, marked yet another opportunity for 385 members of the Katani Greenfield Housing project to exercise their urban inclusive right by breaking ground of their land and housing project. The ground breaking will begin with 12 starter units which is expected to be delivered to the project members in April 2014.

Katani Greenfield

Katani Greenfield

Jane Weru Director AMT and some the beneficiaries witness the ground breaking ceremony.

Jane Weru Director AMT and some the beneficiaries witness the ground breaking ceremony.

Anastacia Wairimu a federation member inaugurates the ground breaking ceremony for the Katani Project

Anastacia Wairimu a federation member inaugurates the ground breaking ceremony for the Katani Project

The project objective is to define methodologies that allows the urban poor get access to affordable and descent housing. However, the project understands the savings capacity of its members; hence the technical teams have made the provisions for house incremental option.The Katani Greenfield and Housing project was conceptualized in 2010, where communities from Mathare, Korogocho, Huruma and Kahawa Soweto joined hands to define a land (secure tenure) and housing concept to build on their sustainable livelihoods.

The Katani Greenfield and Housing Project Architectural house design impressions

The Katani Greenfield and Housing Project Architectural house design impressions

The community begun mobilizing their personal savings within their savings groups as a means to an end to enable them enjoy a secured tenure, this is after the Mukuru Greenfield project had a spillover of members. One of the project coordinator explains the detailed social process; Michael Njuguna is currently the one of the federation project coordinators.

Social Mobilisation Mechanism

“Social community insight especially on matters slum upgrading and redefining access of secure tenure, is no easy task. As a federation, we give sufficient information through training of savings schemes to our members living in informal settlements to enable them make decisions on their livelihoods. In the year 2010, the community’s aspiration in acquiring secure tenure was at an all time high. This was then the time that communities from Mathare, Korogocho, Huruma, Kibera and Kahawa Soweto conceptualized the proposed Katani Greenfield and housing project. Mobilisation was not easy owing to the distances setting these informal settlements a part; however, members resolved to meet on a weekly basis to ensure the spirit of savings towards the project does not diminish,” narrates Mr. Njuguna.

Community participation has been pivotal in hitting the ground running. This is so, because the project implementers are the community members. The project members were involved in searching for the five acres of land in consultation with the federation project teams and the project members. Faith Moraa, an in-house architect with Akiba Mashinani Trust explains, “It was indeed interesting to see how the community was well organized and well versed in matters development and the principles as stipulated in law. Initially through the creation of a house model the members were engaged in the conceptualization of the house designs, from conceptual to detailed designs, which also had the components of civil and structural design orientations. The mandate of the members did not only stop at the design stage, but went further into engaging the County Government of Machakos on the need to approve the project designs, as it was a project driven by the urban poor. The community through an open tender system were also involved in the selection of an experienced contractor to develop the housing units for the project owners”, said Faith.

Infrastructural Development

The project site is indeed strategic for the project members. According to the project planning report the project area is situated in area with a good transportation system, Katani has easy access to the Syokimau railway system that offers regular shuttle to and from the Nairobi Central business District as well as the Eastern by pass road network.

Syokimau train System

Syokimau train System

The Eastern By pass road connectivity

The Eastern By pass road connectivity

Owing to the scarce water resource in the area the project has invested in water borehole that has the capacity of pumping and supplying 10,000 liters of water an hour. This means that the member’s access to this resource is guaranteed.At this point in time the project has the option of the Ecological Sanitation waterless toilet system or connects to the nearby Mavoko trunk sewage system. The land also lies near a water dam that offers and opportunity for irrigation.

The Project borehole which will have the capacity of pumping and supplying 10,000 litres of water and hour

The Project borehole which will have the capacity of pumping and supplying 10,000 litres of water and hour

The Katani Dam

The Katani Dam

Partnership and Engagement to lower cost of development

In the recent past project development was an entirely federation affair, and with the shift in urban development, with skyrocketing cost of property development the federation has been forced into developing strategies and engagement models that somewhat drives the cost of development on a downward sprawl. In this particular case Akiba Mashinani Trust has entered into a working relation with LIXIL (  A Japanese organization that plays key role in urban development) to support the technical capacity of the federation developing the Katani project, this engagement has cushioned the project members from bearing the direct cost of hiring technical project consultants.

Jane Weru shares a light moment with one of the Lixil reprsentatives

Jane Weru shares a light moment with one of the Lixil representatives

This partnership brings with it a deep sense of the community participating in research for sustainable living, the green village. This green village approach is based on the development of the ecological sanitation, which allows human waste to recycled. This invention does not use zero water for the transportation of human waste which will not pollute ground water and other water resources. Instead of disposing of human waste, which ideally contains phosphorus and nitrogen as nutrients for plant growth, the system ferments and decomposes it to recycle fertilizer.

This is an invention that will be incorporated in the Katani housing project which on the other hand gives the project members to engage in commercial farming as a way of fending for their livelihoods.

The Kenyan SDI affiliate acknowledges that the scale and magnitude of informal settlements and that they are here to stay and being out rightly honest with informal settlement dwellers about this reality is a crucial step to building trust. With the new county dispensation, the federation through the county forums continues to engage the county government to admit that they do not have the solutions to informal settlements; instead a partnership approach can dramatically allow civil society to respond with initiatives on the ground.

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