Kenya Urban Informal
Settlement Collaborative Upgrading
Our team has ben working to improve the lives of slum dwellers in Kenya in a number of ways. First, we are collaborating with Muungano - the federation of the urban poor - to support upgrading projects in slums. Our Mathare planning work contributed to the construction of the first household-level water taps in any slum in Nairobi. Our Mathare Zonal Plan has been adopted by the Athi Water Board and is being used to plan for a municipal trunk sewer that will serve thousands of slum dwellers. Second, we are working to influence and shape the Kenya Slum Upgrading Program (KENSUP) and the Kenya Informal Settlements Improvement Program (KISIP), each financed by the Government of Kenya and the World Bank respectively. Third, we are working at the policy level by participating in the drafting of Nairobi's new Master Plan and the Kenyan National Slum Upgrading and Prevention Policy. Both of these policies will be completed n 2013. Finally, we are collaborating with a legal team to support one of the first civil action law suits in Kenya filed on behalf of over 20,000 slum dwelling women from the Mukuru informal settlement. The lawsuit aims to secure the right to sanitation and a clean and safe toilet, as expressed in the Kenyan Constitution.
One of our projects, in partnership with NGOs and the University of Nairobi, is aiming to document the health impacts of inadequate sanitation on women slum dwellers and force the Government of Kenya and private land owners to provide safe and dignified toilets and sanitation in the informal settlements. One of my graduate students wrote this article on the pending law suit challenging the definition of the 'right to sanitation' in Kenya. We continue to work with slum dwellers and partner NGOs and CBOs to redefine healthy and dignified sanitation.