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More than 5M Kenyans live in slums

08 May 2013, 13:37 Wangui Joseph

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Housing Tirop Kosgey on Monday said there are 5.4 million Kenyans living in slums and informal settlements while an estimated 71 per cent of urban population still lives in slums.

In a speech read by acting deputy director of Housing Pauline Mbote in Nyeri during a meeting to discuss slum upgrading policy, Tirop said it is a constitutional right of the public to be involved in policy formulation.

He said the Ministry can no longer ignore the high rate of urbanization in their efforts to address city and town developments, adding that movement of people from rural to urban areas is leading to growth of slums.

“If we do so, we run the risk of not achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) for a significant portion of the population. We also risk not achieving our vision 2030 flagship projects in slums,” said Tirop.

He disclosed that the need for slum upgrading and prevention policy was one of the recommendations that were agreed on during Multi-Stakeholders Support Group (MSSG) forum held in April 2012.

“The Ministry has so far put the policy formulation framework in place. The Secretariat, steering committee and seven thematic working groups have been constituted,” he added.

Pauline said the Ministry will collect public views and proposals countrywide in an effort to address the slum issue systematically.

However, according to a draft policy (The National Slum Upgrading and Prevention Policy) from the Ministry, land tenure and administration is complex in slums and has made development difficult.

“The bureaucratic land administration procedure makes the system prone to corruption. Lack of clear land administration system for slum settlements, land allocation is done in a haphazard manner by various actors ranging from local administration to politicians with no regard to existing laws,” it points out.

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