Forum to address increase in slums

George Kebaso @Morarak

Kenya hopes to learn innovative solutions in the1st UN Habitat Assembly meeting in Nairobi later this month towards curbing rising number of slums.

Yesterday, Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet secretary James Macharia said the country has close to 400 slums spread across major towns.

He said the Assembly — to be held between May 27 to 31— is expected to come up with a Nairobi Declaration with concrete commitments to action.

“This significant global event is happening at a time the world is experiencing rapid urbanisation, which has resulted in acute shortage of affordable and decent housing. This has also led to the proliferation of slums and informal settlements and overcrowding thus resulting in serious sanitation challenges,” Macharia said at Transcom House, Nairobi.

But to address these challenges, he said, Kenya has embarked on an ambitious journey to enable hundreds of thousands of Kenyans access decent and affordable housing. 

“The government, therefore, plans to build 500,000 affordable units over the next five years under the Affordable Housing Programme,” the CS said.

According to Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, by 2050, about 50 per cent the population in Kenya will be living in the cities and by 2030, Nairobi will be home to  about six million people.

The city also ranks among the most poorly planned cities in Africa.

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