Integrating hawking in urban planning, management and governance in Nairobi Central Business District
Ng'iru, Muigai Donald
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Hawking is a trade activity mostly carried out on the street or roadside and usually an option for the poor since it requires minimal capital, use of own labour. It is mainly undertaken for basic survival. Decline in growth in industrial sector, contracting civil sector, economic recession and the institution of Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAPs) among other factors have promoted the growth of hawking trade. In 2003, it contributed 13 per cent to Kenyas' GDP and -is still growing. The sector is though faced with numerous challenges in its operations such as conflicts and confrontations with the authorities, lack of recognition, eviction, unfavorable policies and regulatory frameworks, pavement use conflicts with pedestrians and formal businesses, lack of services and infrastructure among others. Previous efforts to manage and relocate the hawkers have not been successful as the hawkers have returned back to the streets. The study aimed to find-out the nature of hawking trade, identify challenges and opportunities of practicing hawking, to examine policies, participatory and regulatory framework and finally develop recommendations for integrating hawking in the CBD of Nairobi city. The methodology used was triangulation and involved use of various research methods both quantitative and qualitative. Random sampling and purposive methods were used. The main findings were that existing policies have been punitive to hawking activities despite its importance in employment creation among the urban majorities. The preference to hawk in the city is to maximize sales and transport hubs, major transport arteries and terminals attract the nost hawkers. Membership to hawker's organizations is relatively similar to those not, mainly lue to their structural and financial weaknesses, poor leadership among other. advanced recommendations include: policy review to reflect present needs through consultative fforts with all stakeholders. A forum for stakeholders has been proposed, integration of the awkers in the governance of the Authorities activities that affect them, more research into the ector to expand existing knowledge and more recognition of the sector with the subsequent support of the hawking organizations.