Evaluation of slum upgrading and redevelopment in promoting sustainable urban human settlements: a case study of Pumwani-Majengo Housing Project, Nairobi County
Mgele, Victor Otieno
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The existence of slums has posed a huge problem for achievement of sustainable urban development in most ACP countries. Slum upgrading and redevelopment measures have been adopted worldwide as key components of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) under goal number seven which emphasizes the need to tackle the problems posed by slums. In the Kenyan context, slum upgrading and redevelopment as intervention measures are critical to the attainment of both Vision 2030 and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) priorities. The Pumwani-Majengo informal settlement was chosen owing to its unique history of being among the first areas to benefit from the above slum rehabilitation measures in 1987. The study was conceptualized on the need to evaluate the effectiveness of slum upgrading and redevelopment in promoting sustainable urban human settlements in relation to Kenya’s progress towards the attainment of MDG 7, targets 10 and 11 which seek to combat urban poverty and improve the livelihoods of 100 million slum dwellers by the year 2020. It also set to evaluate the attainment of the goals concerning housing and urbanization as envisioned in our development blueprint vision 2030. The evaluation was done based on measurable objectives which formed the intended goal of the slum rehabilitation programme against the target indicators set in MDG goal 7 and Vision 2030. The study adopted a case study design combining both qualitative and quantitative methods that involved pre-field work, field work, data collection and analysis utilizing a variety of relevant scientific methods and tools. The sample size consisted of 100 respondents determined using scientific formulae and was drawn from a target population that consisted of households, resource persons, businesses, institutions and NGO/CBOs operating in the study area. Emphasis was on analyzing the policy, legal and institutional framework governing slum upgrading and redevelopment projects in Kenya, ascertaining the level to which the Pumwani-Majengo project has achieved its main intended objective of fostering transition of the beneficiaries from the slum to the redeveloped housing units, assessing the adequacy and affordability of the housing typologies implemented by the developer in relation to the living styles of the beneficiaries and investigating the perceptions of the beneficiaries towards the slum upgrading and redevelopment approach used in the project. The study established that the slum redevelopment programme implemented by the developers in the Pumwani-Majengo project has had varying degrees of both successes and setbacks in as far as Kenya’s achievement of both MDG goal 7, targets 10 and 11 and Vision 2030 targets on housing and urbanization are concerned. The study established that even though most of the beneficiaries cited improved living standards in form of better sanitation, water supply and infrastructure as benefits originating from the slum redevelopment project, an overwhelming majority nevertheless faulted the lack of the redevelopment approach to sufficiently address community economic empowerment aspects to enable the project beneficiaries have a means of sustaining better livelihoods after being relocated to the Highrises and the total lack of direct involvement by the government to subsidize the economic burden borne by the beneficiaries in paying the monthly rents/mortgages. The findings of the research were used to prepare a participatory slum upgrading and redevelopment planning matrix for promoting sustainable urban human settlements in Pumwani-Majengo. The output plan indicates the major issues, how they can be addressed and who should address what issue.