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!

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