AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE ROLE OF THE DEVELOPER IN THE INFORMAL CONSTRUCTION SECTOR IN PROVIDING WATER SUPPLY, SEWARAGE MANAGEMENT AND ACCESS ROADS INFRASTRACTURE SERVICES.

The supply of housing by the formal construction sector in Kenya is not adequate to meet
the demand. The informal construction sector has therefore filled this gap by providing
housing especially for the urban poor.
Housing comprises not only four walls and a roof. Rather, decent housing is that which
has adequate usable floor space and is characterized with secure tenure where all rights
and obligations are known to all parties prior to occupation. It also comprises
infrastructure services such as provision for access to palatable water. This water should
be easily accessed by households to satisfy minimum water requirement (UN-Habitat).
The house should also have access to toilets and site drainage which minimizes risks
posed by storm water and domestic waste water. However the informal sector is
operationally small scale in nature while provision of these basic infrastructures such as
piped water supply and sewerage management infrastructure requires a relatively large
initial capital outlay.
The purpose of this study was to establish the proportion of investment in infrastructure
services to total investment in the residential buildings by property developers in the
informal construction sector. The case study was Kisauni Constituency, Mombasa
County. The chosen infrastructure services are piped water supply to buildings, sewerage
management infrastructure and access roads infrastructure.
The study was conducted through administering interviewer-guided questionnaires to five
major property managing companies in the area of study. The choice of using property
managing companies as the respondents was made because developers in the informal
sector are predominantly owner occupiers of homes. It was found to be difficult to obtain
reliable data from such respondents because they rarely kept accurate records of
construction costs. Property managers, on the other hand, being business enterprises
always kept reliable records of the costs of construction where they initiated the
construction.
The study was also conducted to establish the adequacy of the infrastructure services as
viewed by the residents of the residents. This was done through administering
interviewer-guided questionnaires to fifty randomly chosen households in the area of
study.
Findings from the study revealed that the proportion of investment in investment in
infrastructure services as a percentage of total construction costs is adequate. The
standard chosen to measure the adequacy of this proportion is that of a development
housing project conducted in Majengo, Nairobi by The National Housing Corporation
(NHC). The proportion of investment in infrastructure services in the area of study to
total construction costs was found to be higher than that of the NHC project.
infrastructure and roads infrastructure. However the residents‟ access to sewerage
management infrastructure was inadequate. It was concluded that the proportion of
investment in infrastructure services as a percentage of total construction costs in the area
of study was adequate.
In light of all the findings it was recommended that structures be put in place to enable
developers in the informal construction sector to access better credit facilities to enable
them to improve investment in infrastructure services. Moreover measures should be
taken by local authorities in the area of study and Kenya as a whole so as to realize
implementation of existent policies on building construction regulations.