The Cities Alliance will engage in a joint work program with Pamoja Trust to map the slums of Nairobi. Pamoja Trust is a non-governmental organisation and the local partner of Homeless International and the Association of Local Government Authorities of Kenya (ALGAK).
The project came about after a delegation from the Cities Alliance comprising of Programme Manager William Cobbett and Senior Urban Specialist Julian Baskin traveled to Kenya in April of 2009. The delegation visited Ghetto (a Nairobi slum suburb) to get a first-hand look at conditions faced by residents.
Nearly 1.5 million of Nairobi’s slum dwellers live in shanties that are made of mud, wattle, and iron sheets. Most of them have minimal or no access to water, electricity, or other basic services, with an estimated 94 percent lacking access to basic sanitation. The under-five mortality rate puts their plight in perspective: The figure is an alarming 151 per 1000 live births, well over twice that of Nairobi as whole.
Despite the availability of such data, a vast majority of Nairobi’s slums have not been formally mapped. Relief activities by NGOs have historically been small-scale with project-specific approaches and limited impact on the ground. Lacking any recognised process for formal access to land, urban services, or citizenship, Nairobi’s urban poor are left to fend for themselves.
During the discussions held with Pamoja Trust, the Cities Alliance expressed a willingness to provide financial resources to them in order to help complete a comprehensive mapping of Nairobi. This is expected to be achieved in partnership with the Nairobi City Council and the support of the University of Nairobi.