Determinants of Diversification of Livelihoods in Slum Areas in Nairobi City County, Kenya

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Masese, Stellah Mong’ina
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Kenyatta University
By 2030 it’s projected that the world population will be 8.6 billion. With these increase, one of the anticipated challenges will be ensuring sustainable livelihoods. Over time households are being subjected to livelihood vulnerability. The study sought to establish determinants that led to diversification of livelihood by households in Mukuru slums in Nairobi City County. Specifically the study find out; livelihoods strategies used in slums, coping mechanisms adopted by households and extent to which financial assets ,social capital and human assets influence diversification of livelihoods. Rational choice theory and social exchange theory were used to explain diversification. In which rational individuals are motivated by alternatives that support their wants or goals and that which has the greatest satisfaction. Similarly social exchange theory explained the different exchanges that individuals undergo as they try different choices. The study was carried out in Mukuru slums; with a population, of 44,427 households spread in twenty (20) villages. Descriptive cross sectional survey design was used to collect data. Unit of analysis for the study was the households. Multistage sampling was used where Mukuru slum was purposively sampled; villages were clustered into three according to their population. Two villages were selected from each cluster to have a sample of 397. Key informants and focus group discussion discussants were purposive sampled. The data was collected through interviews, focus group discussions and simple observation. Data was analyzed with the help of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) V 22 both qualitative and quantitative data using logistical regression model and Chi-square analysis. Qualitative data from FGDs and key informants interviews was thematically analysed as per the objectives of the study. Ethical considerations were taken into account. It was found out that; firstly, on social demographics men were the majority in Mukuru, respondents between 18 and 28 years were the majority, with most of them being married and majority had secondary level education. Secondly, on livelihood strategies majority were self-employed. Thirdly, on vulnerabilities a majority experienced challenges when securing their basic needs due to threats and shocks such as sickness, loss of a source of income and crime. Fourthly, on financial capital households diversified due their basic needs that were required by their dependants. Fifthly, social capital groups were found to be a determinant for diversification of livelihoods due to their saving and borrowing activities. Sixthly, on human capital it was found a majority found it very hard to secure an employment opportunity, due to lack employment opportunities and required skills/education. Lastly on how to make livelihoods successful slum upgrading was advocated for by respondents. It was recommended that one, social groups need to be strengthened and their capacities. Two, development of adult functional literacy centres to help in skill development and training for Mukuru slum residents and three; financial literacy education should be enhanced. In terms of policy a review of slum upgrading programmes so as to include the new emerging issues.
A Thesis Submitted in Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Award of the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy of (Sociology) to the School of Humanities and Social Sciences of Kenyatta University, January 2021.
Determinants, Diversification, Livelihoods, Slum Areas, Nairobi City County, Kenya