Editorials

Don’t neglect infrastructure in affordable housing plan

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NMS director General Badi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Unplanned developments have sprung up around aging county government houses.
  • The plan to put up about 62,000 high-rise rent or buy affordable housing units in Eastlands in the second phase of the Nairobi Housing Urban Renewal programme marks a step in the right direction.
  • The Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) has identified 10 old county government estates for the public-private partnership project.

For years, Nairobi’s city planners haven’t catered to the needs of low-income and middle-income households. Upscale housing developments have emerged around the city while the lower market segment has been largely neglected.

Unplanned developments have sprung up around aging county government houses.

The plan to put up about 62,000 high-rise rent or buy affordable housing units in Eastlands in the second phase of the Nairobi Housing Urban Renewal programme marks a step in the right direction.

The Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) has identified 10 old county government estates for the public-private partnership project.

The apartments will consist of between six and 16 storied buildings of either three, two or one-bedroom units.

The old estates earmarked for redevelopment and renewal include Bahati, Maringo, Jericho, Lumumba, Bondeni, Ziwani, Embakasi, California, Kariobangi North and Woodley.

The redevelopment plan will help thousands of families own a home in Nairobi. And while at it, NMS should not forget to develop critical supporting infrastructure that is currently missing in the sprawling Eastlands area.

Unplanned development aided by corrupt city officials has seen structurally weak residential and commercial houses put up, some taking up spaces for social amenities such as bus parks, schools, social halls and sporting facilities.

The city management agency should oversee proper planning of the housing developments to give the old estates a new image. Sewer lines should be constructed to ensure proper waste management and roads upgraded to facilitate connectivity to the rest of the city.

New schools should be built and the old ones expanded to accommodate the growing population of school-going children in the area. Also, public spaces grabbed by corrupt officials of the defunct City Council should be repossessed.