Slum Upgrading and Land Rights

English: slum (location ?)
English: slum (location ?) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Slum upgrading – the Kibra  case

Slum dwellers all over the world see a different world from the rest of the people. Their world is not as perfect –  it is somehow  upside-down, inside-out and confusing.

These people live below poverty line. The live under pathetic condition with little or no basic human needs, health, sanitation, piped water etc.

So governments and other non governmental organizations come up with the bright idea of upgrading these slums to uplift the living conditions of the dwellers.

So what is slum upgrading?

Slum upgrading (SU )is a process through which informal areas are improved, formalized  and incorporated into the city, such that all essential  city services by the local government are extended to the slum area.

Normally it is essential and very important that upgrading planning and activities re undertaken with the participation of all parties – residents, community groups, business and local authorities.

However, one key element in these processes, which makes a lot of difference is legalizing or regularizing properties and providing secure land tenure to the residents. This will make the people in the sum safe from eviction and who will also enjoy long term stability.

In such a case, the concerned authority, which is the government, is in the process, essentially “upgrading the community”

This notion is especially very important to the residents of Kibra of the Nubian origin, who have rightfully claimed the Kibra land from the national government . A land which was given to them over one century ago by the then British colonial government.

Incidentally, during one of the many consultative meetings between the Nubian Community representatives and the government authorities, a term used by one of the members of the government representatives was found to be improper. The “what if” phrase used was in bad test and was rejected. ” what if the other communities in Kibra  object to the idea of giving back the land to the Nubians ” , should not be entertained by the government  side. The government ought to come out firmly and decisively on this issue – in favor of the rightful owners of the land  of course.

Stop politicizing the issue!

Writing this article was not meant for making money. However, the donation will help me cover my blogging expenses in the long journey I intend to make advocating for the reforms of the marginalized minority and engaging in community matters.

Donations can be made via PayPal using the button below.




Enhanced by Zemanta

The Voice of the Marginalized People

Marginalized people of Kibra

Kibra is an area on the outskirt of Nairobi, the capitol city of Kenya. This piece of land, measuring approximately 4100 acres was a reward given to the Nubian soldiers by the then British colonial government. The Nubian soldiers fought alongside the British army from the 19th century up to the two world wars of 1914 and 1945.
Although the politics of this country has changed Kibra to what it is now, the largest slum in Africa. The Nubians who live in Kibra, which is their home, are now a small minority in the ratio of 1 to 12, after their land was invaded by outsiders brought in by selfish politicians.

The Nubians still cherish and have passion for Kibra, even with the faint hope of obtaining the land ownership document from the government. And even as the number of poor and excluded people among the community is increasing rapidly.

Expression of Passion for Kibra
1. We all know that there is a great ‘passion’ among our community for out Kibra. People love the ambiance, the natural setting, the country side, the history, the heritage and much mote. These feelings have unfortunately been largely destroyed by the politics of this country.
2. There is a strong sense of community. We ate proud of ourselves, our community organizations and our neighborhoods.
3. There is a sense of entrenchment. As people say, ‘we all love progress, it is the change we hate’.
4. Nonetheless, we recognize the opportunity in pursuing fresh ideas/ attitudes. There is a desire to create a new vision, plan for the future and coordinate efforts across the community.
5. Too much focus on issues and weaknesses. We need to promote our strengths among ourselves. Then we will be better able to present our strengths to visitors and others outside our community.
6. There are specific issues that are foremost in our minds:
a. To unite our people so that we speak from same voice.
b. To get the ownership documents for the Kibra land.
c. To protect our quality of life and address the well being of our people.
7. There are strengths to build upon in the community and opportunities to pursue:
a. Coordinating the talents and energies of our people to achieve a common vision.
b. To promote our arts, culture, recreation and leisure
c. Heritage.
d. Under utilized resources
e. Honesty.
8. Our people are knowledgeable, experienced and brimming with interesting and innovative ideas. The challenge is to make good use of these valuable resources.


Writing this article was never about making money. However, the small donation I plead for is for helping me cover blogging expenses in the long journey I intend to make advocating for reforms of the marginalized minority,  and also engaging in other community matters.

Donation can be made via PayPal using the button below.



[contact-form-7 id=”453″ title=”Contact form 1_copy”]
Enhanced by Zemanta