Kibera slum set for ‘major face lift’
Kibera slum is set for a major facelift after the Nairobi Metropolitan Service (NMS) declared the informal settlement a special planning area and suspended any further development in the area for two years.
NMS Director General Mohammed Badi suspended any development in Lindi, Makina, Laini Saba and Sarang’ombe Wards, with exception of Ayany and Olympic Estate, in the sub-County for a period of not more than two years.
The move is aimed at allowing for the formulation of harmonised standards and guidelines for buildings and other forms of development in the area as defined under laws governing land use and planning.
“Consequently, there shall be no more development in the mentioned areas and developments are hereby suspended for a period of not more than two years from the date of this notice,” read the May 26, 2020 notice.
Permission granted six months prior
He, however, stated that the declaration does not affect development permission granted six months prior to the notice.
Kibera slum, reportedly the largest urban informal settlement in Africa, has been synonymous with sprawling shanties teeming with thousands of people crammed up in crammed structures.
It is in light of this that Major General Badi said the move to declare the mentioned areas special planning area is to enable preparation of a participatory, economically feasible, socially and environmentally sustainable physical development plan in accordance with the provisions of physical and Land Use Planning Act, 2019.
He explained that the declaration would guide the implementation of strategic interventions for improvement of socio-economic and environmental aspects of the area as well as providing for a framework for enhancing people’s fundamental rights to live with basic dignity and in decent conditions.
The plan will be reference framework for developers and regulatory agencies with regard to development control processes and infrastructure provision within the planning area.
The public will be able to have a view of the physical map of the affected areas after it is posted at the precincts of the county government offices at City Hall, the county’s official website and the offices of the Ward administrators of the respective wards.
The declaration of Kibera as a special planning area now brings to three informal settlements in Nairobi County that have undergone such status.
The four informal settlement areas join
Mukuru slums, running all the way from Marigoini all the way to Ziwandani, and Mji wa Huruma near Runda special planning areas after a similar declaration in August 2017.
The declaration also put a stop to any further development in the area for a two year period until a Mukuru Intergrated Development Plan was formulated.
A total of Sh56 million was set aside for the pilot programme with Sh20 million going towards the facilitation of planning of the informal settlements upgrading while a further Sh36 million for land surveying, registration, roads and sewers and planning of Mukuru Special Planning Area.
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.
The plan was to complement the existing Central Business District and transform the main Central Railway Station and its immediate environs into a world-class railway city.