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close this bookTraining Human Settlement Workers in Eastern & Southern Africa (AFSC - Mazingira Institute, 1981)
close this folderThe settlements situation
View the documentAngola
View the documentBotswana
View the documentKenya
View the documentLesotho
View the documentMozambique
View the documentSudan
View the documentTanzania
View the documentZambia
View the documentZimbabwe


One-third of the population of the capital and industrial centre, Nairobi, live in illegal squatter settlements, and there are similar problems in other urban centres in the country, whose total population is about 15 million. The urban growth rate is about 6 per cent per annum. Attempts to deal with the low-income housing problem through self-help date from the 1970s when the site and service and core house schemes funded by USAID, World Bank and EEC 'were developed. Previous attempts by the National Housing Corporation and local authorities catered only to middle-income earners. Self-help housing is handled by Housing Development Departments (HDDs) in the 3 largest urban areas: Nairobi, Kisumu and Mombasa, coordinated thorough the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing and the Ministries of Local Government and Finance. The Ministry of Urban Development and Housing sponsors a Housing Research and Development Unit jointly with the University; this provides substantive research and has a library on self-help housing. Monitoring and evaluation research is also carried out separately through central government. Each Housing Development Department has a committee of elected councillors; committees are coordinated by the Mayor on the political side, while Departments are coordinated by the Town Clerk on the administrative side in each local authority, as in the British model of local government. In the low income areas, Village Development Committees are elected but have no direct relation to local authorities. In site and service areas, some people form small building groups based on ethnic affiliation, proximity, or common work place.

Upgrading is all based on sewers rather than pit latrines, and HDD's are still not able to cater to the poorest urban inhabitants. Non-governmental organizations, particularly National Christian Council of Kenya, have limited programs for this group. Half of the plots on a site and service scheme have been totally sublet to a slightly higher income group while illegal settlements continue to grow; large proportions of these are specifically built for rental. There are no specific training programmes for workers on self-help projects, as they normally have training in technical, community development or financial skills from various institutions. However on-the-job training is provided, and there are plans to establish a new training institution for this purpose. The Training Case Studies from Kenya concern development of leadership skills in the self-help builders' groups, and training of residents and school leavers in data collection and analysis.