The World Bank has approved a Sh16.2 billion ($150 million) loan for Kenya to upgrade infrastructure and improve access to basic services in slums.
The loan targeting 1.7 million residents will go to provision of clean water, street lighting, improved roads and sanitation in urban informal settlements.
The funds come at a time people living in slums are grappling with congestion, disease outbreak and fires, amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Rapid urbanisation 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 Operations Manager and Acting Country Director for Kenya.
The loan will be channelled through the second phase of Kenya Informal Settlement Improvement Project (KISIP), an action plan to improve conditions of the settlements in Nairobi, Machakos, Mombasa and Kisumu.
Phase one of the project saw the laying of water pipes, provision of tanks, yard taps, water kiosks and installation of ablution blocks.
The second phase of KISIP will see residents get livelihoods support and community engagement to assess and address risks, including the impacts 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 pandemic,” she said.
Additionally, project seeks to regularise titling for slum residents to enhance the tenure security.
Regularisation 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.
A UN Habitat report shows that Kisumu has seven informal settlements namely Nyalenda “A” (including Nyamasaria), Nyalenda “B”, Manyatta “A”, Manyatta “B”, Obunga, Bandani, Manyatta-Arab, and Kaloleni. Nairobi has several informal settlements including Kibera, Mathare, Kawangware, Korogocho and Mukuru.