Government to recognize secure tenure for Slum dwellers
The need to secure tenure for slum dwellers in public land has been a process propagated by Muungano wa Wanavijiji since the establishment of the social movement, 16 years ago. The initiative to engage government on the regularization of tenure may soon pay off.Lands, housing and Urban development Cabinet secretary, Charity Ngilu while on a project visit to Huruma, community led slum upgrading model on Saturday 31st January 2015, said that title deeds will soon be issued to slum dweller communities in Nairobi and other major towns ,who occupy land considered to be public lands especially those that lack ownership wrangles. In the recent past communities and households in the informal settlements have remained vulnerable, hence they been easy targets of forced evictions since the lands they occupy are either contested or lack proper ownership documentation. Speaking while on the tour of the Kambi Moto slum upgrading project, a housing upgrading project pioneered by Muungano wa Wanavijiji that aimed at providing a decent and affordable housing which to this extent has provided housing units to about 300 households in Kambi Moto, Ghetto, Mahira and Ex-grogon villages of Huruma, several other units are still under construction.
The Lands ministry has pledged to work hand in hand with Muungano wa Wanavijiji to organize communities through a clear identification process to identify settlements on public lands with proper allotment letters and with the housing units conforming to the ideal physical development plans. Also in attendance was Maria Teresa De La Vega the immediate former vice president of Spain currently working with the Women for Africa organization, which has vast interest in supporting urban poor communities especially women on matters slum upgrading. The organization with the support of the Lands ministry has pledged to support the construction of 50 housing units in some of the informal settlements in the city.
Muungano wa Wanavijiji , a social movement of slum dwellers in Kenya and Supported by Slum dwellers international is primarily focused in continued engagement with the government through the lands ministry and other government agencies in organizing Kenyans residing in informal settlements to have access land tenure, which as a factor of production would position the urban poor to not only negotiate for decent housing and access to better infrastructure and services such as water and sanitation, but primarily of significance importance is for slum dwellers to be part of the process to enhance learning and sharing that would concretise opportunities for scale-up, this is likely to also improve the standards of livelihoods for the poor.