Kenya: Kibera Earmarked for Facelift as It Is Declared a Special Area

Kibera is earmarked for a facelift after the Nairobi Metropolitan Service (NMS) declared it a special planning area, suspending any more development in the slum for two years.

The declaration by NMS Director General Mohammed Badi suspended development in Lindi, Makina, Laini Saba and Sarang'ombe wards.

The exception is Ayany and Olympic estate.

The move is aimed at allowing authorities to formulate harmonised standards and guidelines for buildings and other forms of development as defined in the laws governing land use and planning, the notice signed Tuesday says.

He, however, added that the declaration does not affect development permissions granted six months before the notice.

Kibera, the largest slum on the continent, is synonymous with hovels teeming with thousands of people.

Maj-Gen Badi said declaring the slum as a special planning area is to enable the preparation of a participatory, economically feasible, socially and environmentally sustainable physical development in accordance with the 2019 Physical and Land Use Planning Act.

He added that the declaration will guide the implementation of strategic interventions for the improvement of socio-economic and environmental aspects of the area as well as providing a framework for enhancing residents' fundamental rights to live in dignified and decent conditions.

The plan will be reference framework for developers and regulatory agencies with regard to development control and infrastructure provision, he said.

The public will have a view of the map of the affected areas after it is posted at the devolved government offices at City Hall, the county's official website and the offices of ward administrators.

The other slums declared special areas are Mukuru and Mji wa Huruma near Runda.

Some Sh56 million was set aside for the pilot scheme, with Sh20 million going towards planning. The remaining Sh36 million went into surveying, registration, roads and sewers in Mukuru.

On February 14, 2020, City Hall together with the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure declared the Nairobi Central Railway Station and its surrounding bound by Haile Selassie Avenue, Uhuru Highway, Bunyala Road, Commercial Street and Landhies Road measuring 172 hectares, a special planning area.

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