Delegates from the Governments of Sweden, Spain and Norway made a special field visit to Kibera as part of the recent Joint Annual Consultation (JAC) 2012. The objective of the field visit was for the donors to learn more about some of UN-Habitat's projects and to have the opportunity to dialogue with external partners of the organization.
Supported by UN-Habitat, the Kenya Slum Upgrading Programme (KENSUP), is in its pilot phase and being implemented in Kibera Soweto East Village. The programme is one of the major interventions that aim to demonstrate the link between infrastructure development and basic service provision as a means to improving livelihoods in informal settlements.
Speaking to the group, the director of City Planning of the Nairobi City Council, Rose Muema, stressed the importance of participatory approaches to development and which they are actively applying to their projects such as in Kibera, adding that this approach contributed to the success of the Council's Nairobi Public Space development initiative which it is implementing with technical and financial support from UN-Habitat.
The donors met community and NGO members who were in the middle of a stakeholder workshop involving the design of a multi-functional public space in Silanga and being conducted by the City Council and a technical consultant of UN-Habitat. The donors were happy to note the wide representation of stakeholders in such an activity and stressed the importance of factoring in the needs of children, young girls, old people and the disabled when designing the public space.
UN-Habitat's project interventions in Kibera, which started in 2006, have established vital basic services to the area such as; an integrated water supply, sanitation, access road and non-motorized transport fabricating facility as well as a community resource centre offering physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and care for persons with disabilities, ICT basic services for all local residents and a dispensary. The project, Reclaiming Nairobi – Investing in Public Spaces for All, is also targeting the improvement of 60 priority public spaces in Nairobi, with two pilot spaces, one of which is the Silanga Public Space Kibera.