UNDERSTANDING THE SLUM DWELLER

"Abstract"
"Urbanization and industrialization in Africa has led to rapid population surge within the cities as a result of rural-urban migration."
"Many a times, this increase in population within a city is often characterized with the urban service and infrastructure remaining the same hence leading to a mismatch between economic and urban growth thus creating a segregation of different economic classes. Nonetheless, global urbanization has led to close to one billion people living in urban areas and slum settlements without proper shelter. Kenya, just like most African countries has a high urban population growth rate of 6-7% per annum yet the production of affordable housing by the government does not match the population growth rate thus leading to housing deficit. The private sector on the other hand is skewed in favour of high income and upper middle income groups thus neglecting the urban poor who finds an alternative accommodation in slums and informal settlement with Nairobi having some of the most densely populated slums in East Africa. Consequently, a number of international Human Rights (including UN-Habitat) recognizes the need for equal and non-discriminatory access to adequate housing. In fact through the UN-Habitat’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)2015, goal 11, priority target is that by  2030, is to ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums. Kenya, through Article 43(part b) of the constitution (2010) establishes the right of every person to accessible and adequate housing and to reasonable standards of sanitation. However, since the launching of slum upgrading programme in Kenya by Cities Alliance in 1999, there has been negligible success in the projects despite the heavy investment by the Government, NGOs, FBOs, CBOs etc. Most studies and reports have attributed the failure of these programmes to lack of proper inventory on the slum dwellers. This thesis therefore seeks to understand the slum dwellers wholesomely, by investigating the slum demographics, livelihood, the forces behind their space planning, design and use, their building technology and materials. Korogocho slums was chosen for case study where 40 household were selected and qualitative and quantitative data collected using interviews, survey questionnaires, and observations . The information collected was then analysed using qualitative and quantitative data analysis methods. The study revealed that the space planning and use in the slum set up is informed not only by the demographics but also, social, livelihood, security and health parameters and that indeed there exist innovative ways of use of the space by the dwellers. The study then recommends that the upgrading projects are best done in situ, not formalizing the settlement but by improving the economic prospects and social empowerment of the dwellers, creating safe and healthy environments by incorporating their"
"innovative use of spaces and technology without interfering with the social and economic fabric of the whole."

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