CHALLENGES OF SLUM UPGRADING FOR URBAN INFORMAL SETTLEMENTS; CASE OF SOWETO EAST VILLAGE IN KIBERA INFORMAL SETTLEMENTS, CITY OF NAIROBI

The increased development of informal settlements will be the dominant form of
urbanization in most developing countries. Rapid urbanization and its related consequences
have been difficult to handle and manage, particularly in countries like Kenya, South Africa
and Egypt. This report gives an overview of challenges of slum upgrading for urban informal
settlements; case of Soweto East village in Kibera informal settlements, City of Nairobi. The
report also constitutes study findings of a field research carried out in April 2013 guided by
these central questions: - (i) What institutional arrangements have been put in place for slum
upgrading in Soweto East village?; (ii) What are the roles of stakeholders in Soweto East
village slum upgrading?; (iii) Which challenges have led to the unsuccessful uptake of slum
upgrading in Soweto East village?; How can we manage the unsuccessful uptake of slum
upgrading in Soweto East village?
The study employed secondary data from literature review for theoretical framework
development and field study tools. Purposive sampling and Stratified random sampling
techniques were used in the case of Slum Upgrading Department staff in the Ministry of
Housing and Soweto East Village residents whose sample sizes were 14 and 217
respectively. The study also employed case study design and the data was analysed
descriptively and presented in tables and figures.
Slum upgrading in Soweto East village has various stakeholders including tenants, resident
and non-resident structure owners, land owners, public authorities, civil society, private
sector and international development agencies. Despite the establishment of an all inclusive
institutional framework for improvement and prevention of informal settlements through the
Kenya Slum Upgrading Programme and Kenya Informal Settlements Improvement
Programme by the government, the implementation of Soweto East slum upgrading
programme faces several challenges that include:- complexities of slum settlements with
regard to tenure arrangements; lack of coordination of various stakeholders; resistance to the
slum upgrading programme especially by the slumlords; lack of participation by the slum dwellers in the upgrading programme; residents not being aware of their roles as stakeholders
in the upgrading programme; lack of adequate land for slum upgrading; lack of goodwill and
mistrust from the slum dwellers; inadequate budgetary allocations to the programme from the
government exchequer; politicization of the programme; environmental degradation; varied
political, cultural and religious inclinations amongst the residents and their leaders; various
stakeholders being involved in the programme leading to partnership concepts that often
derail the implementation schedules of the upgrading programme; and non genuine Non
Governmental Organisations. It is in view of these challenges that the study recommends
guidelines that are outlined in chapter five of this report for use in Soweto East village slum
upgrading programme specifically and any other similar set up generally.