By Getrude Matayo
World Bank has approved 16.2 billion shillings ($150 million) loan for Kenyans living in slums across the country to improve infrastructure in informal settlements in a renewed upgrading program that will rope in the ongoing Kazi Mtaani initiative
The move is expected to improve living conditions for at least 1.7 million Kenyans that live in Kenyan Slums.
The funds come at a time people living in slums are grappling with congestion, disease outbreak, and fires amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Rapid urbanization and an increasing share of the poor living in urban areas has outpaced services and infrastructure provision and this project will contribute to reducing this infrastructure and services gap,” Said Camille Lampart Nuamah, World Bank Operation Manager and Acting Country Director for Kenya.
Development to be covered by the funding include preparation of settlement-level development plans, surveys, registry index maps and letters of allotment or titles to enhance security for these residents
The loan will be channeled through the second phase of the Kenya informal settlement improvement project an action plan to improve conditions of the settlement in Nairobi, Machakos, Mombasa, and Kisumu.
Other developments to be under the project including infrastructure upgrading for basic services like roads, water, drainage, sanitation, street lighting, community facilities, and livelihood support as well as community engagement to assess and address risks.
Regulation of tenure is expected to increase property values, access to credit for the titleholders, increase tax revenues for the local administration, and access to urban infrastructure services.
An UN-Habitat report shows that Kisumu has seven informal settlements. The international lenders say it hopes to make the funding available to Kenya Immediately.
The second phase of KISIP will see residents get livelihood support and community engagement to assess and address risks, including the impact of COVID-19.
The project will also cushion urban informal settlement residents who depend on daily earnings against the negative socio-economic impact of the Covid-19.