Slum upgrading enters phase two

February 22, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 22 – The beneficiaries of the first phase of the Kibera Slum upgrading project may be able to occupy their new houses within two months when the second phase of work is expected to commence, according to Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

Mr Odinga on Sunday said the phase one units were almost complete and the occupants should be able to move in by April.

“We may soon move the new occupants to the new units before we lay the foundation stone in Soweto East for construction,” he told area residents.

Mr Odinga said despite the renovations, the prices of the houses will not be hiked.

“Let me assure you that the rent will remain the same as what you used to pay for the shanties,” he said.

Speaking when he flagged off the Kibera Half Marathon race Sunday morning, the Premier also revealed that the construction of access roads to the slum would resume on Monday. He told residents to pull down illegal structures put up on the road reserve by then.

On the food crisis amid escalating commodity prices, the Premier attributed the shortage of maize to successive poor harvests.

He however said the government was working on how to offer subsidies on imports to put a lid on the price tags of the staple meal.

“We have a deficit of maize supplies in our granaries but we have deliberately (awarded) subsidies on imports to contain the sky rocketing of prices of the staple food,” he explained.

The marathon whose theme was ‘Towards a Slum Free Nation’ saw more than 300 athletes take part in the event to create awareness on the importance of better housing for low income earners.

The run was in part sponsored by the United Nation’s HABITAT wing, towards the realisation of Millennium Development Goals.


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