Kenyan NGOs to foster urban growth

September 5, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 5 – A civil society initiative seeking to compliment the government\’s efforts in urban development is due to be launched next week.

The plan dubbed \’Civil Society Urban Development Programme\’ will seek to engage civil society organizations to be more pro-active in developing urban centres.

The program will seek to engage in concepts which can be used to develop policies according to Programme Coordinator George Wasonga.

"Housing has always been provided and there are many efforts that the government has made in providing that.  In regard to water and sanitation, we have a whole range of solutions that have been provided through the water service providers," he said.

"So it is about adding value in terms of water services, perhaps there is an innovative setup that has worked somewhere in the globe. We can import it into our scenario and domesticate it," he stated.

He emphasised the need for better coordination within the civil society in a bid to realise their goals.

"This facility wants to bring in that innovation. We want to get the civil society to be a leader in employing the constitutional provisions. So what we are looking at is focusing our coordination efforts so we are able to have better synchronization among the civil societies," he said.

 "We are very aware that the new constitution recognises urban centres, it also recognises the rights issues meaning that the plight of majority of the poor who are living in informal settlements are also outlined in the constitution," he stated.

"We are focusing initially on the five major urban centers; that is Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru and Eldoret, those will be the entry points. The issue in this regard is that we are not working with any newly formed civil Society Organisations, it is those that have already been working in those areas and we are saying, can you compete therefore for this interest and move this agenda."

Speaking to Capital Newsbeat, he further termed the released census results as crucial to the goals of the programme.

"The most important thing is that we have current statistics to work with so that when you mention the level of depravation, you know for sure that this is the numbers that we are dealing with.  When you look at intervention programmes, you know that this is the scope to which we can create an impact if we are looking at this area. The current statistics helps a lot in programme design," he pointed out.
He further stated that the census results were crucial to the future development of the country since the data would help in the provision of adequate services and infrastructure facilities for people living in a particular area.


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