Profiling in Mukuru: an eye opener to slum dwellers

By Nicerah Wanjiru

A youth from Mukuru Kayaba in Nairobi identifies some of the settlement boundaries.

A youth from Mukuru Kayaba in Nairobi identifies some of the settlement boundaries.

Profiling is the general information which differs from the ENUMERATION. Because enumeration is the specific information of a house hold; with profiling the community members get to know the settlement well.

A just concluded profiling process in Mukuru Kayaba in Starehe Constituency in Land Mawe Ward, Nairobi County awakened the area residents to begin perceiving themselves as stakeholders in planning and development through an all-inclusive process. Land Mawe consists of ten settlements namely, Kambi Moto, Commercial, Barclays, Tetra Park, Crescent, Sigei, Mandazi, Shimo la Tewa, Kabeberi, and Kenya Wine.

The settlement based verification and profiling of infrastructure/ services exercise has awakened and aroused anxiety among the community members especially the young people, most of the young people have expressed interest to join Muugano wa Wanavijiji, citing that there is certainly a problem and it’s time for them to take up the space and fix the problem. It was a great opportunity for the youths to understand the origin the origin of the various settlements and land ownership.

For instance, In Kambi Moto settlement the residents say it’s the poorest settlement in Mukuru Kayaba, the settlement was started by their forefathers who put up temporary shelter using polythene bags, the government of the day, then started claiming the land and said it belonged to the Kenya Prisons Department, the houses used to burn each and every time, however, these acts of arson were a strategy employed to evict the residents, but instead the community chose to stay put. The great grand fathers left the houses to their children but the area continued to be on fire and that’s why the name Kambimoto. And they adopted the name.

Community participation in data verification

Community participation in data verification

The residents on many occasions have been assured by politicians and the local administration that the said land has been reverted to the community, but ops! No legal documents stating that the land has been transferred to them.

One of the core objectives of Muugano wa Wanavijiji is to ensure better housing and security of tenure to the marginalized slum communities, and thus why such city wide settlement profiles exercises are carried out, to empower slum dwellers to collect their own information that voices their priorities, needs and expectations with regards to city planning and infrastructure provision. For them to help the settlements they must have data which is factual and that cannot be contested. With the help of theMuugano data team and documentation teams they ensured that during such exercises, real information and facts comes out from the community members by interviewing the right people and the stake holders within the settlement.

The residents of Mukuru Kayaba had no idea that there are specific standards of recommendations when it comes to tap water and Toilet. For example a single water point ought to serve at least 200 families and one toilet should be shared by at least 20 families.

Among the advantages of settlement profiling is that residents get to know their Settlement, Ward and city pretty well, thetypes of services available,  number of people (population densities)living in the shacks and structures as well as the existing forms of services. Residents get to know the facts of their settlement hence giving them the perfect voice to advocate for their rights, all these and others can only be achieved through profiling.

Through the process we partnered with the local authority, the office of the area Member of the County assembly, Ward administrator and area chief. The administration of the day on the ground requested Muugano to have a follow up exercise in the settlement in order to unite the community members whom they don’t have a good relationship. This will enable them solve some challenges in the area and build capacity in youths. This will create one voice in Mukuru Kayaba which will go a long way in helping them solve locational boundaries problem. The residents also wanted to learn more on savings.Indeed this exercise is an eye opener to the Mukuru Kayaba residents.