SOWETO PARISH CENTRE - portfolio

The history of informal settlements in Nairobi is traced back to the pre-colonial times, from 1902 when
Nairobi was officially founded. The colonialists displaced many people who were living in Kiambu,
Limuru, Mbagathi, Ruiru and other areas. The displaced would later become squatters and following
the independence, more people migrated to the city; as a result, temporary dwellings began to spring
up. It has also been reported that the Kenyatta administration allowed migrants who could not find
accommodation in the formal low-cost estates like Kariokor, Bahati and others to put up shacks within
the city, as long as these were not too close to the CBD.
Some of the drivers for slums proliferation include rapid increase in urban population, high cost of land
and land speculation, inadequate housing, lack of proper forward planning preceding actual
development.
Soweto settlement in Umoja Division came into existence on 7th November 1988 after a letter was
written by the then District Commissioner to the area chief of Embakasi stating that the government
had plans to resettle people from various slums in Soweto. The land that the settlement sits on was
part of Embakasi Barracks. The land was surveyed by the Kenya Army and each family was allocated a
plot. All the beneficiaries have been issued with allotment letters by the City Council of Nairobi.

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