To improve the living conditions of Kenya’s urban poor in informal settlements, the World Bank has approved a $150 million credit line. These funds will be used to upgrade roads, drainage, water, sanitation, street lighting and community facilities.
The Kenya Informal Settlements Improvement Project (KISIP) will also ensure issuance of land title deeds to enable residents to have security of tenure.
This World Bank credit also seeks to support livelihoods or dwellers in these informal settlements deal with the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic.
“Rapid urbanization and an increasing share of the poor living in urban areas has outpaced services and infrastructure provision, and this project will contribute to reducing this infrastructure and services gap,” said Camille Lampart Nuamah, World Bank Operations Manager and Acting Country Director for Kenya.
The project will also cushion urban informal settlement residents who depend on daily earnings against the negative socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
At present, the urban poor in most informal settlements lack access to essential services, such as clean and safe water; mobility, emergency vehicles and resilience in instances of disasters. Also, there is low connectivity of residents to socio-economic opportunities while lack of electricity connection has reduced the level of economic activity and increased the rate of crime.
Provision of land title deeds in informal settlements will increase property values, access to credit for the titleholders, increased tax revenues for the local administration, and access to urban infrastructure services.
The project’s particular focus on socio-economic inclusion will link vulnerable people of informal settlements to government programs aimed at reducing poverty and vulnerability. It will also link at-risk youth to programs focused on building skills and creating opportunities for employment and self-employment.
“In the short run, the works related to upgrading roads will provide an important source of employment opportunities for unskilled, informal and vulnerable workers disproportionately affected by the economic impact of COVID-19,” said Sheila Kamunyori, World Bank Senior Urban Specialist and Task Team Leader.
The World Bank is keen to continue supporting the government’s effort to the ongoing Kazi Mtaani program in the subsequent phases to reach up to 200,000 youth across all 47 counties.
The project will be implemented through institutional arrangements at the national level and county level. Criteria to determine eligible settlements have been developed to ensure that the project has maximum impact for the targeted beneficiaries.
Counties with eligible settlements will be expected to demonstrate readiness to implement the project.
Kenyan Business Feed is the top Kenyan Business Blog. We share news from Kenya and across the region. To contact us with any alert, please email us to [email protected]