Step up slum upgrading projects

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BY LUCY KIBAKI

The frequent incidents of fire outbreaks and the deplorable living conditions in informal settlements underlines the need to step up the slum upgrading programme in the country.

The recent tragedy that occurred in Nairobi’s Sinai slum due to a burst fuel pipeline is yet another demonstration of the dangers to which Kenyans who live in informal settlements are exposed.

Indeed, as Kenyans will recall, incidences of fire outbreaks in slums in which many lives are lost keep occurring from time to time.

Besides fire outbreaks, informal settlements in the country lack basic social amenities such as water, drainage and sanitation facilities which render slum dwellers prone to disease outbreaks.

Indeed, the lack of vital basic infrastructure renders slum dwellers to a wide range of risks including natural calamities.

In view of the dangers involved in living in slums, there is urgent need for the Ministry of Housing to step up the slum upgrading programme so that more Kenyans can have access to decent shelter.

While long term measures of the upgrading programme are being put in place, there is need to urgently put in place short term measures to ensure Kenyans living in slums are not vulnerable to avoidable risks.

One such measure is the need to ensure that informal settlements are accessible in case of fire outbreaks. At the moment, the innermost parts of many of the informal settlements in the country are not accessible due to congestion. Consequently, many lives that might have been saved are lost and property destroyed.

To avert this cycle of losses of life in our slum areas, I call upon residents of congested informal settlements and neighborhood organisations to join hands with local authorities and relevant government departments with a view to improving living conditions in slum areas.

(Mrs Kibaki is the First Lady of the Republic of Kenya)

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  • Kaalakau

    i am sorry Mama Taifa, i am your ardent supporter but this time you’ve missed the mark. in my opinion the real solution is a total rethink of national security…

  • Monique Mumbi

    Wow, she has spoken! At least Lucy spoke. How about her husband baba Jimmy aka President of the Jamhuri ya Kenya? Sleeping on the job as usual.
    Mama Jimmy did you discuss this issue with the man we voted for? You have no authority to tell us what to do. You are in state house courtesy of your marriage to baba Jimmy! SO tell all this to him so that he can tell his ministers. 

    An for how long have you known these issues affecting slums? Yesterday or after the Sinai fire? You have been in state house  for almost 10 years now! How come you have not done or said the same before. Action not pro-action helps mum. You are trying to close the door when the horse has bolted. Too late. Good day.

  • Phillip Ojwang

    All kenyan’s of good will and development minded should support this initiative.

  • “One such measure is the need to ensure that informal settlements are accessible in case of fire outbreaks.”…mama lucy, you are totally off the mark.Instead of spending money building roads through slums, use that money to improve income for these people and they will come out of the slums.Tell that to baba Jimmy

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