The Nairobi county government has frozen development in the Mukuru settlement in a bid to try to solve the problems that affect residents in the slum.
The county’s Executive Committee Member for Urban Renewal and Housing, Patrick Tom Odongo, said “a resolution to declare Mukuru a special planning area has already been made by the executive and is awaiting publication of a public notice to this effect in the local dailies as required by law, this week or early next week”.
Speaking on Friday during presentation of research findings on the growth of the slum, the minister said this would not affect plans that the county government had already approved.
“This is being done so that we don’t allow development that constrains the search for a sustainable solution,” he said.
The county executive committee member said: “It is high time we deal with such challenging settlements. Once we are able to deal with the slums then all other development problems will automatically become much easier”.
The Mukuru slum, which comprises Mukuru kwa Njenga, Mukuru kwa Reuben and Viwandani, is one of the largest of the more than 150 informal settlements in Nairobi covering of 525 acres and with a population of more than 200,000 people.
Research presented by the International Development Research Centre in Nairobi on Friday shows that a robust informal economy often controlled by cartels is generating at least Sh7billion annually, equivalent to a quarter of the county government’s annual budget.