An Evaluation of Urban Regeneration Efforts in Kibera, Kenya through Slum Upgrading



Housing, Informal Settlements, Participation, Slum Upgrading, Urban Regeneration


Kibera, a slum in Kenya experiences social, economic, and spatial challenges arising from rapid urbanization and inability of the government to provide affordable housing. Located five kilometers from the city center, Kibera is home to approximately 185.000 people, the majority of whom are low-income earners. Besides housing challenges, Kibera lacks basic facilities like roads and clean water. Kenyan Government in partnership with UN-Habitat and other organizations has initiated Kenya Slum Upgrading Program (KENSUP) for the purpose of upgrading the infrastructure, housing, and supply of basic services. The pilot project was conducted in Soweto East village of Kibera and involved temporary relocation of the residents to a receiving area to provide room for upgrading. This research uses SWOT analysis method and scrutiny of past studies including interviews conducted in Soweto area to evaluate the KENSUP project in Kibera, to identify the gaps in the program implementation, and to make suitable recommendations for an effective slum upgrading program. The research also examines the historical context of the slum formation and past attempts to address the slum issues. To obtain data, this paper analyses previous research works, articles, government reports, postgraduate theses, policies and legal documents among others. The research establishes that lack of a specific law on urban regeneration impedes the upgrading process. Inadequate involvement of the community in project identification, planning, and implementation is also identified to have caused the residents to reject, rent or sell the new houses allocated to them, opting instead to go back to the slum.


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