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Old August 19th, 2009, 07:59 PM   #1
Mwafrika
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Kenya Slum Upgrading Project (Kensup)

Kenya's capital city Nairobi has some of the most dense, unsanitary and insecure slums in the world. Almost half of the city's population lives in over 100 slums and squatter settlements within the city, with little or inadequate access to safe water and sanitation. Housing conditions in slums are deplorable and most residents have no form of secure tenure.

The Kenya Slum Upgrading Programme (KENSUP) is the result of a meeting in November 2000 between the then President of Kenya and the Executive Director of UN-HABITAT at which the Executive Director offered to spearhead a slum upgrading programme for Kenya starting with Nairobi's largest slum, Kibera.

The programme was jointly funded by the UN-HABITAT/World Bank Cities Alliance and the Government of Kenya. The Grant agreement was signed in July 2002.
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Old August 19th, 2009, 08:01 PM   #2
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Progress




A section of houses in Nairobi where residents of Kibera slums are set to move into this week. They are to pay Sh1,000 ($13) as rent for the two-roomed units.



Residents of Kibera slum are set to move in to the newly built houses as from Wednesday.



Ongoing construction at the building site in Kibera where residents are to move in this week.
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Old August 19th, 2009, 08:47 PM   #3
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nice project. This is what we need in Africa.
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Old August 19th, 2009, 10:23 PM   #4
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no doubt pule....this is what all of africa needs from trashy to classy
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Old August 20th, 2009, 03:13 PM   #5
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Considering thats the same amount of money they pay for the shacks they live in.... If more property developers target the lower income segments, alot of informal settlements will disappear.

Though for Kibera a final and long lasting solution would be to simply move the industrial area to say Athi river and make lots of planned low income housing estates to accompany the relocated industries. Without the industrial area, Kibera cannot exist.
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Old August 21st, 2009, 12:01 AM   #6
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High Court stops move to upgrade Kibera slum

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A move by the Government to upgrade Kibera slums has suffered a major setback.

The High Court yesterday issued conservatory orders stopping the Government from demolishing structures of those living in Kibera’s Soweto East area.

The relocation of residents was to start today in an exercise where President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga were to attend.

Lady Justice Abida Ali-Aroni said the orders would remain in force until August 28 when the case is set to be heard inter parties.

"The conservatory order is issued up to August 28 restraining the respondents from demolishing houses of petitioners in Zone A Soweto East," she ruled. Aroni’s ruling arose out of an application by 84 people living in Kibera.

They say if the Government has to upgrade the houses as it has proclaimed under the Slum Upgrading Programme, adequate compensation has to be put in place. On August 14, the Government gave residents a month to vacate from Soweto East in an area classified as Zone A.

Through their advocate, Mr Kibe Mungai, they accused the Government of reducing the programme into a housing issue and forgetting other interests like the landlords.

The landless, he added, had no problem moving to the new houses.

The group had on Wednesday filed an urgent suit at the Nairobi Law Courts.

Named as respondents are the Attorney General, Lands Minister and Commissioner of Lands.

Real issues

In the ruling, Aroni said the applicants were raising "weighty matters."

However, she said the court could not adjudicate on the real issues until all parties are present in court.

The group said it was not opposed to movement of tenants from the structures in Kibera but were against demolition of the structures before they are issued with leases to the plots.

Justice Aroni heard that the 84 had acquired legitimate interest in the area, which cannot be taken away against the law.

According to them, Section 75 of the Constitution gives them property rights and interests in the structures and plots they occupy.

Kibe claimed some of the residents, Nubians, were settled in the area by the Government between 1960 and 1980. Others he said were Mau Mau veterans and their descendants.
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Old August 21st, 2009, 03:39 AM   #7
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how much does it cost to live there
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 07:11 PM   #8
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By Ramadhan Rajab

The Government will spend Sh4.4 billion to upgrade Nairobi’s Korogocho slum in a joint programme with Italy.

The first phase of the ten-year project has received a Sh210 million commitment from the Italian Government.

In ceremony that saw a footbridge and residents’ committee office launched in Korogocho yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi praised the initiative.

"Through community support, this project will give Korogocho residents appropriate land tenure systems and improve their physical, economic and social status," Mr Mudavadi said. Italian Ambassador Pierandrea Magistrati said: "We aim not just to build houses for Korogocho residents, but also uphold their dignity so that they may lead a worthwhile lifestyle."

Achieving MDGs

Mr Magistrati also said the project, financed through the Kenya Italy Debt for Development Programme, is to support the country’s effort in achieving Millennium Development Goals.

It foresees the conversion of debt owed by the Government into a grant to fund joint projects.

"We focus on releasing resources for development of social services and enabling Kenya realise economic goals for her people," Magistrati said.

Nairobi Metropolitan Assistant Minister and local MP Elizabeth Ongoro said stringent measures should be taken to prevent people bent on benefiting from the project unfairly.

Project benefits

"We know who have been staying here and there will be no chance for visitors, who want to use their influence to benefit from this project meant for Korogocho residents," Mrs Ongoro said.

Meanwhile, Mudavadi, who is also the Local Government minister, has said the Government is looking for more better ways of managing garbage at the Dandora dumpsite.

The refuse has been blamed for the spread of cholera, malaria and other water and airborne diseases.

"We are still looking for a way of transferring this dumpsite, without causing further damage to our lives as well as the environment," he said.
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 07:13 PM   #9
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Slum dwellers’ exodus to the promised land
A fluorescent tube, television set, mats, a tray of eggs and empty beer bottles are gently placed on well-worn seats. Then Mr George Gitonga motions his son, Duncan Mboi, 20, to lift it one of the seats and glide through a grey door to their new home.

There is a gentle smile playing on their lips no doubt from the joy having a place to call their own in Kenya’s latest and possibly most innovative townships in Kaputiei, just an hour south of Nairobi.

Gitonga is a taxi driver and Mboi, a student at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. Both are somewhat shy and reserved, leaving Ms Clarice Adhiambo, 53, to explain their feelings.

"If someone had told me then that one day I would own a own two bedroom house, I would have laughed dismissively," Adhiambo says and bursts into loud guffaws, as if mocking her own disbelief.

"I can’t believe I am living here. I have to remind myself everyday that I own this house," she says, breaking into prolonged laughter.

Critical mass

True to her words, the story unfolding in Kaputiei is the stuff made of dreams. For more than 15 years, Adhiambo, lived off the streets where she had been consigned after fleeing her home in Kisumu to escape an abusive husband.

But without a job, she begged in the streets, until she met a middle aged Swedish woman who kept begging her and her associates to save Sh10 every day and think of starting a business.

Adhiambo and 49 other beggars ultimately saved Sh8,000 and helped found Jamii Bora Trust that has, over the next 10 years, grown into a group of 230,000 members.

Last month, the group had disbursed Sh3 billion in small loans, most of which has been paid back, according to Ms Ingrid Munro, Jamii Bora’s founder and managing trustee.

The Kaputiei housing scheme is Jamii Bora’s latest project and is hoped to settle several thousand families from the slums.

"As long as you live in the slums, you will never climb out of poverty," says Munro, "Families, of course, need economic opportunities to rise out of poverty but what good are they if you are still living in hell?"

The ambitious project, which is expected to cost Sh1billion, is the first of its kind in Kenya. Initially 2,000 houses will be built on a 300-acre piece of land.

Ultimately, 10,000 people are expected to settle there when it is sometimes next year.

Construction started in June 2007 and so far, 700 houses have been completed and the first batch of families, including the Adhiambos and the Gitongas, has moved in.

Social amenities

Well-stocked grocery stores are already in operation, as is the Kaputiei Primary School, with about 200 pupils, most of them from the orphanage that Jamii Bora run in Kitengela, as well as the new settlers migrating from slums in Kibera, Mathare, Soweto or upcountry.

Still under construction is the town’s "Central Business District" that will house business premises, a police post, a health centre, a post office, a library and other essential social amenities.

Feeder roads connecting the new town to the Nairobi-Kajiado road as well different parts of the town have been done and await tarmac.

The town is divided into eight neighbourhoods, each with 250 houses that also have shops, playgrounds and worship places.

One of the significant aspects of Kaputiei is that it has integrated environmental management principles as its core. Central to this is a Sh3 million waste water treatment facility completed. It is meant to recycle water from the kitchen and toilets to be used for irrigating vegetable gardens as well as maintain a nearby recreational nature park.

The water will also be used to flush toilets, while the sludge will be treated to produce organic fertiliser.

Prof Elijah Biamah of the University of Nairobi who designed the facility said: "Since water is scarce around here, this hi-tech facility will enable the use of water efficiently and intelligently."

Some residents said previously they were used to seeing raw sewage in the slums or sharing dirty and overflowing pit latrines with hundreds of other people. Some said they used plastic bags to dump toilet waste, a phenomenon famously called "flying toilets".

Running taps

"I was used to buying water from a 20-litre jerrican but now all the taps in my house are running," says Santa Wanjiku, who was born and has lived in Kibera and has now resettled in Kaputiei.

Even though Kaputiei is built in a water-scarce area, with only seasonal rivers, it will never suffer water shortage or rationing as is common with other towns in Kenya.

There are no water or electricity bills for the residents as they use solar power for their houses while the water is from four high-yield boreholes that have been sunk strategically in different parts of the town and water supplied to each home.

‘Many blessings’

Biamah says water quality is Kaputiei is higher than in many parts of the country, including Nairobi, even though tests reveal a relatively high fluoride content. Excessive chloride consumption is blamed for browning of teeth.

The don says he plans to introduce technologies such as reverse osmosis to solve the problem. He says some water may eventually be bottled and sold, creating jobs for the residents.

The water is already benefiting many of people who live near Kaputiei town, including thousands of Maasai herders who previously had to walk long distances with their livestock to look for water.

"This new town has brought us many blessings including free water and we welcome it with open hands," says Naiseku Nashipae, who had lined up to draw water.

To reduce construction costs, an on-site production facility manufactures most of the required materials such as roofing tiles, and cement bricks. This facility mainly employs women living in the area.
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 07:16 PM   #10
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CMA draws up rules to allow trading of property shares on Nairobi bourse

Real estate development on Waiyaki way in Nairobi. individual investors will be able to buy and sell shares of properties listed on the bourse. Picture: Anthony Kamau


Millions of Kenyans are to benefit from a major new investment window as the government moves to introduce regulations that will allow real estate to be traded at the Nairobi Stock Exchange.

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The new rules, drafted by the Capital Markets Authority, are intended to open up investment in the usually capital-intensive large-scale commercial property sector to the general public.

They will, for the first time in Kenya, facilitate the “chopping up” of real estate into small units for people to trade in them.

Under the Capital Markets (Real Estate Investment Trusts) Regulations, 2009, individual investors will be able to buy and sell shares of properties listed on the bourse in much the same way people trade in stocks and shares of companies listed on the stock exchange.

Hailed by property experts as revolutionary and innovative, the move is seen as an answer to the need for a savings and investment vehicle that will result in a liquid property market that is widely accessible to the private investor.

According to the draft Real Estate Investment Trusts Regulations, large investors will be allowed to raise money through the capital market, making it possible to channel capital into the real estate sector in a more structured manner.

They will be required to register a real estate investment trust under the Trustee Act, Cap 167, with the Capital Markets Authority. The trust will raise capital from the market and invest it in real estate projects on behalf of shareholders with the aim of providing returns to unit holders.

The returns will mainly be in the form of rental income or capital gains accrued from the real estate investment.

A real estate investment management company, incorporated under the Companies Act Cap 486, and registered with the Capital Markets Authority, will manage the real estate investment schemes acquired by the Trust, on behalf of the investors.

Properties acquired by the trust and managed by the company will be listed on the stock exchange where members of the public wishing to invest in real estate will have the opportunity to buy shares and trade in them.

The move, according to CMA, is part of the regulator’s efforts to pursue available investment opportunities in the capital markets aimed at stimulating the economy as envisioned under the country’s Vision 2030.

According to CMA, the regulations will provide incentives for the development of and investment in certain classes of real estate such as low-income housing, municipal amenities and tourism facilities, which are said to be priority areas for national and regional development.
Once implemented, the regulations, which the Capital Markets Authority says will soon be forwarded to Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta for his consideration and approval, will allow investors to raise money through the capital market, making it possible to channel capital into the real estate market in a more structured manner.

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The regulations will also reduce the sector’s dependence on high levels of debt financing, which increases its sensitivity to interest rate changes and makes investment in property less transparent and more risky and costly than it ought to be.

To benefit most are smaller investors who tend to access property in higher risk ways, such as buy-to-let investments or direct ownership, and therefore cannot diversify portfolios to reduce risk
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 07:29 PM   #11
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Housing Finance woos investors for fresh Sh1.5b capital

By James Anyanzwa
Housing Finance (HF), the country’s premier home loan financier, is in talks with strategic investors to raise close to Sh1.5 billion in equity capital.
The funds are expected to support the company’s five large-scale residential and commercial housing projects within the planned Nairobi metropolitan.
The latest initiative to raise capital comes months after the country’s leading mortgage firm, engaging in both commercial and residential mortgage banking, raised Sh2.3 billion through a rights issue last year. The issue was oversubscribed by three per cent, which the management reckons that it was critical capital injection to finance a strategic five-year plan, which encompasses low-cost housing schemes.
The funds were meant to boost its deposits, and thereby increase its mortgage lending business to the tune of Sh25 billion.
However, the recent talks with strategic investor comes shortly after the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) unveiled new rules to manage investors seeking to marshal public resources for purposes of investing in property development.

New regulation
The Capital Markets (Real Estate Investment Trusts) Regulations 2009 was tabled for the stakeholders and public scrutiny, pending its operationalisation.
Housing Finance employee inspects a building put up by the giant mortgage company. The fresh capital injection to finance HF’s strategic five-year plan.
[PHOTO: FILE]
The mortgage financier contends the long-awaited guidelines now provides an enabling environment for the company to pursue its fund raising programmes, which have since slowed owing to the absence of a regulatory regime.

"We are now on course to raise money for the projects. There is already very huge appetite from key investors attracted to putting money in the Kenya’s real estate," explained Moses Wekesa, the company’s Property Supply director. Wekesa considers the on-going discussions with prospective investors—both local and foreign— could be concluded within the first quarter of next year (2010).
The negotiations touch on, among others, expected rate of return, perceived risks, nature of the product (houses) and its market demand.
"In the next seven months we should be able to finalise with a number of these issues," Wekesa told FJ last week.
The company’s pre-tax profits last year jumped by 50 per cent to Sh195.8 million, up from the previous years Sh130.7 million, while in the first quarter of this year the profit before tax increased by 154.2 per cent to Sh68.9 million, up from Sh27.1 million recorded over a similar period last year. As part of its restructuring process, HF will also relinquish a controlling majority in one of its two subsidiaries, the Kenya Building Society (KBS), to strategic investors.

strategic investor
The move is meant to add additional impetus to the company’s efforts of investing in more capital-intensive projects. "We are inviting other strategic investors to come on board in order to speed up the momentum of developing large scale projects," says Wekesa.
HF’s plans to put on the market part of its shares in KBS is meant to raise additional funds, while bringing on board the much-needed expertises to drive its ambitious housing programme to fruition. The revival of KBS seeks to enhance partnerships with developers, professional firms, land bank owners and investors for large-scale housing estate developments.
"Currently, the market is completely underserved and particularly in the home- ownership. We expect a boom in the lower market segment whose solutions we hope to realise through partnerships," explained the director.
The new initiative is also expected to accelerate the role of HF as a premier mortgage provider in emerging high volume business.HF has in the past been a lead developer of residential houses through its wholly owned subsidiary, KBS.

partnership
KBS has been undertaking several housing developments in the country’s major towns in excess of 5,500 housing units, with disbursements for the units exceeding Sh3.6 billion.
The HF’s grand plan involves developing of both residential and commercial properties in areas around major urban centres through its collaboration with private landowners.
Under the initiative, landowners within 70 kilometers off Nairobi will register with Government authorities, which will in turn facilitate extension of key amenities like water, electricity and sewers to speed up development.
The move is aimed at decongesting urban areas, while stabilising property market prices (both for purchase and rental
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 07:31 PM   #12
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Hope for homeless city dwellers in kenya
Africa, particularly Kenya, is rapidly moving into that perilous phase of development where Europe, Japan and America were before the Great Depression of the 1930s. Never again have rural dwellers abandoned their villages for the cities at the rate that they are doing now across Africa.

In Kenya, as elsewhere, how to house the hordes of productive but less-utilised humanity is the million-dollar question. A few facts are telling, if not frightening. According to government statistics, 27 per cent of the 34 million Kenyans are residing in urban areas, majority of them first-timers. By 2017 the population will be 44 million, 38 per cent of it in urban areas. By 2032 we will be 63 million with a whopping 68 per cent of us residing in urban areas.

Where will these overwhelming numbers of people live? London, Moscow, Tokyo and Boston had their times of dealing with this question more than a century ago. The lessons are the same — that the private sector is not interested in constructing dwelling houses for the surging humanity fresh from the village. After all, the newcomers do not have the money and the few who have it exhibit an awful borrowing culture in relation to mortgage and related housing schemes.

With all indices brought to the fore, the performance of the Ministry of Housing could be one of the telling indicators of where Kenya is headed as a society. Indeed, when the Housing Policy was drafted in 2004 and a Ministry of Housing constituted in 2005, the Government seemed to have woken up to the fact that the private sector will never partner with the poor in matters housing. Experience has shown that massive government involvement is crucial if the poor are to be housed.

Gerald Mutua, a private developer and proprietor of Hawkins Properties, says that the country is in the right track, even though more needs to be done. He explains: "There were attractive incentives that were spelt out in the 2006/2007 Budget, which included a refund of excise duty for contractors building houses for low income groups. My firm has already forwarded an application to the Ministry and we were informed that our applications have been forwarded to the Treasury for consideration."

In an interview with a local daily, Housing Minister Soita Shitanda says that this incentive is for those constructing at least 20 units of not worth more than 1.6 million each.

Government’s responsibility

"This is designed to make contractors feel attracted to building houses for low-income earners in large numbers. Hundreds of thousands of new residents are pouring into Nairobi every year and they don’t have money for expensive houses. At the same time, we can let them live in unplanned environment only at the peril of our security, health and general wellbeing," he says.

Experiences from models in other countries have shown that it is the work of the Government to take the lead in housing its urban population.

Every city that has been besieged with huge and unplanned flow of humanity has had to wage a housing revolution.

But is the Government of Kenya ready for this revolution? Shitanda, the minister tasked with making it happen, says that he is working on it. He explains: "We are in the process of floating bonds worth Sh5 billion for a massive housing programme in Nairobi. The Government will inject an extra Sh4.8 billion to make it Sh10 billion. This type of housing investment is unprecedented in East Africa and this is in recognition that only the Government can take risk a with this segment and mobilise resources to help the lower bracket segment with decent housing. The bonds will be in the market by August."

The minister says that the Government has so far shown willingness to go the distance.

"I started first by selling non-strategic government houses in Nairobi. The 1,200 houses provided us with seed capital and the Government injected Sh1.5 billion. We have built 300 units in Lavington, Kilimani and Jogoo Road, which have already been occupied. Right now we are in the process of finishing an extra 800 units in Ngara. This is what we call the Civil Servants Housing Programme," he says.

In this programme, Shitanda explains, all you have to do is raise 10 per cent of the value of the house and then move in. The remaining is deducted from your house allowance over the years.

"We moved in because we felt that the National Housing Corporation had failed in its mandate," he says.

On the other hand, private investors are not willing to take risks with low-income earners or junior civil servants.

Bringing sanity to the market

Dickson Murage, the CEO at Pristine Homes, says that by constructing houses in the city, the Government will help stabilise the prices and inject the much needed sanity into the market. "The National Housing Corporation ought to have done this a long time ago but it seems they were unable. It is only recently that the Government has moved in but the NHC has been missing in action," he says.

The minister agrees that radical reforms at the NHC are needed. "I have already laid down a strategy of reforming this important institution. In the past the NHC acted as if it was a rent collection agency," Shitanda says.

He adds: "All they did was repossess council buildings and then collect rent to pay their employees. That defeats the mandate of the corporation because its sole function is to provide homes for Kenyans. You don’t provide homes by collecting rent. Right now we are in a programme where all the houses repossessed are sold immediately and the money used to build more houses for downloading to Kenyans."

Explains the minister: "All house sales are done through tenant-purchase agreement where the person residing in the house is given first priority. He then pays 10 per cent and the rest is paid through a highly subsidised programme where interest rate is only five per cent. In addition, unlike private developers, our deals do not factor the element of the value of the land. We only look at the value of the house. That is how we are able to sell a Sh12 million house for comparatively as little as Sh4.5 million, or a Sh5 million house for a mere Sh1.5 million."

Bringing down old houses

On another front, the Government has started pulling down older houses and building new ones. A project started at Shauri Moyo Estate last week, seeks to construct 300 new houses. Another group of people consisting 316 new homeowners is set to move into houses along Jogoo Road near St Stephens Church. Overall, housing projects on this side will involve 1,200 homes, with extra 500 units at Starehe and 300 units for senior civil servants at Park Road.

The principle, according to Shitanda, is to create 15 houses for every ten they sell. That way, the Government will be on its way to fulfilling the mandate of providing homes for Kenyans who can not afford to pay the current prices put up by private developers. The minister admits that while we might not see immediate revolutionary results, this might as well be the beginning of the revolution.

In addition, the minister says that the Government is planning to go a little further and add schools and shopping complexes in the areas where they will put up homes. For instance, there is a 42-acre piece of land near Pangani Shopping Centre along Thika Road that he is eyeing. He says: "This prime piece of land belonged to a foundation that did not bother to renew the lease when it expired. In fact, they had a huge debt in rate arrears and we had to repossess the land. We have invited tenders, both locally and internationally, for developers to come and partner with us. We envision putting up a Sh50 billion worth of buildings comprising apartments, schools and a shopping complex on the land."

But will the Sh2 billion worth of unused land see the beginning of a new era in the drive of putting a roof over the heads of people in Nairobi? Shitanda says that they have succeeded in the estates that they have done so far from scratch.
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 07:53 PM   #13
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nairobi slum upgrading project
Unique slum upgrading project starts in Nairobi


Updated 9 hr(s) 7 min(s) ago
By Macharia Kamau

The upgrading of six informal settlements in Nairobi’s Huruma estate has started.

Cooperation Internationale (COOPI) from Italy has given Sh74.4 billion (744 million dollars) for the programme, expected to take three years, and benefit more than 150,000 people. COOPI is partnering with Pamoja Trust, a local non-governmental organisation, and Italy’s Foreign Affairs Ministry in the programme that targets Gitathura, Mahira, Kambi Moto, Mandoya, Ghetto and Redeemed informal settlements.

Involvement

It borrows from a similar project in Kampala, Uganda in 2005, which was co-financed by UN Habitat.

Ms Margaret Matheka, the coordinator of Pamoja Trust, said the residents would be involved throughout the programme.

It includes helping them financially to put up their own houses, where the land tenure has been regularised by the Ministry of Local Government.

In turn, they provide labour for the project.

"This way, we ensure community involvement and that they lead the process of housing upgrading as this develops local expertise and inculcate responsibility," she said.

The project uses inexpensive materials that can easily be transported to the site. Gerald Chege is among the semi-skilled personnel on the site, and thanks to the project, he now owns a decent brick house in Huruma’s Gitathuru village, a far cry from the ramshackle he lived in not so long ago. To earn a living, he did manual labour and earned between Sh50 to Sh100 a day.

Today he earns about Sh250 a day and saves anything between Sh50 to Sh100. "At the end of the programme, all the 345 families originally inhabiting Gitathura slum will all occupy their own houses," said Matheka.

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Old September 3rd, 2009, 08:44 PM   #14
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New building code promises poor Kenyans decent homes
Millions of Kenyans could soon have a chance to own a decent home if Parliament passes a building code that broadens the range of acceptable construction materials beyond brick and mortar.

A task force appointed by Prime Minister Raila Odinga four months ago to review the building laws, on Tuesday reported that it had completed the work and prepared a draft Planning and Building Bill for tabling before Parliament.

“The outdated laws have resulted in tragedies and have been a major impediment to the delivery of modern housing to millions of urban residents,” said Mr Tirop Kosgey, the Housing permanent secretary, at a conference on quality and affordable housing in Nairobi.

“There must be a paradigm shift in the area of building materials that is centred on material performance instead of materials specification,” he said. Key segments of the current building code have been in existence since 1967.

The new building code is expected to move the building industry away from brick and mortar that some players claimed has made construction a rich man’s business, locking out Kenyans of average means from owning homes.

Though cement will remain a vital component of any construction, locally available materials and latest building technologies could help offer faster and cheaper solutions for housing in the semi-permanent segment.

Among the materials being considered are timber and UN blocks and bricks made from earth across many parts of the country.

The use of eco-friendly materials for roofing such as the traditional grass used for thatching will also be considered.

Currently, houses built from this materials are considered temporal and the approval of local authorities must be sought.

If passed in parliament, it would be a major boost on the housing sector and could slow down the proliferation of slums that has emerged as the best alternative to the lower class on a low supply of housing.

The appetite for housing currently stands at 150,000 units annually but the country can only produce 50,000 units, with most targeting the high-end of the market due to the high returns from this segment.

About 60 per cent, or 1.9 million of the three million Nairobi residents live in slums and informal settlements, according to UN figures.
Building experts reckon that the cost of putting up a house could fall by up to 30 per cent under the proposed code.

“We estimate that it will be possible to get a two bedroom house for Sh900,000, compared to the current average price of Sh1,500,000,” said Mr Sylvester Muthari, the chairman of the Institute of Quantity Surveyors of Kenya.

If the Bill is passed it will be possible to use modern construction technology such as prefabricated boards and interlocking blocks which are cheaper than the preferred brick and mortar.

Compared with conventional masonry, which heavily relies on cement, interlocking blocks save construction time and mortar, a huge benefit to builders because of the high cost of cement.

It is hoped that there will be a reduction in the construction period, hastening the rate at which houses are being completed.

Prefabricated housing is used to do this given that a house is assembled like a jigsaw where entire parts are fitted together.

Builders who have been moving to areas where the construction code is lax will also be hemmed in by the proposed new law.

“Those who have been rushing to Mavoko and Ruiru will also be forced to adhere to strict planning,” Dr Reuben Mutiso, a technical advisor to the committee, said at the same function.

The current building law has 103 statutes but their enforcement depends on different ministries including Housing, Water, Environment and the Local Government, a drawback to investors, especially foreign investors.
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Old September 5th, 2009, 12:25 PM   #15
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state, private developer seal SH 400M housing deal

The Government will spend Sh400 million to construct the first phase of low cost houses in Nairobi’s Shauri Moyo Estate, Nairobi.

In the private-public partnership arrangement, Lemna International Ltd, a US-based company, will build the houses then be paid in five years after completion of the project.

This is the first time the Government under the ambit of Ministry of Housing is engaging a private company in construction.

During the groundbreaking ceremony, Housing Minister Soita Shitanda said the Government will begin to pay the private company after completion of the project.

Said he: "Government has no cash ready now, but we have an arrangement with the developer whereby money will be paid in phases."

In the project that will see Government houses in Shauri Moyo demolished, the contractor will first construct decant units to host families.

"Occupants of the houses will not lose their houses but will be incorporated in the new housing scheme together with civil servants," he said.

Completion of units

Shitanda said his ministry expects the company to complete 315 units in seven months because of the technology being used.

Present during the ceremony were National Housing Corporation Manager James Ruitha, Kamukunji MP Simon Mbugua, Housing PS Tirop Kosgey and Lemna General Manager David Anderson.

Anderson said his company intends to use this housing project to make in roads to the Kenya property market.

"We will be using our own technology that has been successful in various parts of the world that takes a shorter time to complete construction," he said. Shitanda said the new units price will range from Sh2 million and Sh3.5 million.
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Old September 8th, 2009, 09:34 AM   #16
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There are a few things which could possibly complicate the Kibera redevelopment. There is a high crime rate in Kibera. There is a lack of building foundations. The ground in which Kibera is built upon is unstable. There is unyielding topography and cramped sprawl in the area. Few houses have vehicle access and many are at the botom of steep inclines. And slup upgrading attempts could be difficult. Also, there are about 65 other areas in Nairobi that are classified as slums.
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Old September 8th, 2009, 06:45 PM   #17
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jimi where are you from, curiously asking
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Old September 9th, 2009, 01:07 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim856796 View Post
There are a few things which could possibly complicate the Kibera redevelopment. There is a high crime rate in Kibera. There is a lack of building foundations. The ground in which Kibera is built upon is unstable. There is unyielding topography and cramped sprawl in the area. Few houses have vehicle access and many are at the botom of steep inclines. And slup upgrading attempts could be difficult. Also, there are about 65 other areas in Nairobi that are classified as slums.
i still think thats the right step towards the right direction
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Old September 9th, 2009, 07:32 AM   #19
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Desert burner, don't ask me where I am from please, I can't get my questions answered properly that way.
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Old September 17th, 2009, 01:17 AM   #20
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Kenya begins huge slum clearance
Quote:

Residents of the Kibera slum

The bulldozers have moved in, but legal action has halted the demolition

Kenyan authorities have begun to move residents out of Africa's largest slum - the Kibera settlement in Nairobi.

Officials expect to take from two to five years to clear the slum, which is home to about one million people.

The first people to move are being rehoused nearby in 300 newly built apartments, each paying about $10 (£6) a month in rent.

But some residents and landlords have gone to court in a bid to stop the moves as they claim they own the land.


New flats near Kibera

People in Kibera have had to cope with overcrowding, soaring crime rates and poor sanitation in recent years.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who is the local MP, said the the project - which has UN backing - will prepare the ground for a "modern, low income residential estate with modern schools, markets, playgrounds and other facilities".

"Today we make the first step of a long journey towards meeting the basic needs and basic human rights of our people in the slum," he said.

Land sensitivities

The BBC's Anne Mawathe in Kibera said some families began moving with their belongings at 0630 local time.

They assembled to wait for trucks to take them to their new homes.

One elated resident, Hilda Orlale, told the BBC how she and her family could not wait to get to their new home.

"Where we lived we never even had a toilet," she said.

"We had to pay three shillings (three US cents) to access one while the children used the flying toilets," she said referring to excrement that is placed into plastic bags and then thrown out of windows.

But our reporter says land ownership in Kenya is very sensitive, and not everyone is happy with the scheme.

More than 80 people - a mix of landlords and residents - have taken their grievance to court, arguing that the land in Kibera is theirs and the government should not be allowed to demolish the shacks.

About 90% of Kibera residents rent their homes from middle-class Kenyans who have built temporary structures on the government land over the last 30 years.

Planning worries

The Nubian community - an ethnic group who have been living on the land for more than a century - are also annoyed with the slum clearance.


We've lived in Kibera long before Nairobi was Nairobi, long before Kenya was Kenya - Nubian elder Ibrahim Diaby

Ibrahim Diaby, a Nubian elder, says improvements should be made to the existing housing in the slum instead.

"My house has water and electricity, but I'm restricted from putting up a permanent building because the government says the land belongs to them," he said.

"It's a question of natural justice. We've lived in Kibera long before Nairobi was Nairobi, long before Kenya was Kenya."

The high court has ordered that the demolition cannot being until their case is heard next month.

Mr Odinga said the slum now houses many more people than the Nubians, and must be redeveloped.

Residents who are moving are looking forward to having water and electricity

"Over the years, it has grown to be cosmopolitan with many Kenyan communities found here," he said.

"But it also remains the biggest slum in Africa south of the Sahara. It is not a reputation we can be proud of."

Urban planners have also expressed concern at the project, saying that it risks repeating the mistakes of the past.

In another similar project poor families either shared two-roomed apartments with one or two other families in order to pay the rent, or sub-let them to middle-class families and moved back into the slums.






All over the area slum-dwellers were gathering up their belongings and heading to the newly built blocks of flats, barely 500m away







source BBC - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/8258417.stm
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