- Pamoja Trust
Kenya's informal settlements are growing at an unprecedented rate as more and more people move to cities in search of employment and other opportunities urban areas offer. The government and local authorities are faced with the serious challenge of guiding the physical growth of urban areas and providing adequate services for the growing urban population. Kenya's urban population is at present 34 percent of the total population. More than 70 percent of these people live in slums, with limited access to water and sanitation, housing, and secure tenure. They have poor environmental conditions and experience high crime rates. If the gap continues to grow between the supply and demand of urban services such as housing, the negative consequences of urbanization can become irreversible. With the growing number of people, Railway Infrastructure has been largely affected as communities have encroached on the railway reserve therefore endangering their lives and putting railway operations at risk. In fact in 2006 a train derailment resulted in the deaths of 9 people and more than 100 causalities. It is in this regard that in 2010 a tripartite agreement was reached between The Government of Kenya through the Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development, World Bank and the Kenya Railways embarked on a Relocation Action Plan (RAP). The RAP has been set up as a collaborative initiative that draws on the expertise of a wide variety of partners in order to address this issue. The Government of Kenya executes and manages the programme, the Ministry of Housing and the relevant local authorities implement it,civil society partners, participating local communities, and the private sector complement and support their efforts. RAP aim is to improve the livelihoods of people living and working in the informal settlements of Mukuru and Kibera in Nairobi through the provision of security of tenure and physical and social infrastructure, as well as opportunities for housing improvement and income generation. However, the primary objective of the Relocation Action Plan is to establish an extended safety corridor for railway operations and maintenance in Mukuru and Kibera. The safety corridor will act as a buffer zone to minimize danger posed by accidents or derailments. The project continues to mitigate against social, economic and environmental impact of the relocation. This has been done by putting in place sustainable development programmes and sufficient investments resources to enable the displaced persons restore their livelihoods as well as standard of living to pre-displacement levels or even higher.