In partnership with the United Nations Country Team and the Government of Kenya, UN-HABITAT is working to establish the extent of the destruction and loss of housing, land and property following the violence arising from the recent elections. According to current estimates, up to 250,000 people have been displaced from their homes in slums and in rural areas.
UN-HABITAT Executive Director Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka said that as a member of the UN Executive Committee on Humanitarian Affairs, UN-HABITAT is supporting humanitarian agencies address the immediate shelter needs of the displaced. UN-HABITAT is also working to establish long term mechanisms for sustainable resettlement.
“We are going to work with the Emergency Shelter and Early Recovery Clusters to assist the humanitarian community and government in identifying and planning relocation areas and original sites especially in the slum settlements. A clear understanding and appreciation of the complexity of land issues is critical,” she said.
The first stage is to make an assessment of destroyed housing and property through on the ground surveys and satellite imagery analysis. This is followed by establishing processes that allow people to go back with the necessary means to rebuild their homes. Where necessary alternatives need to be found in cooperation with the government and local communities.
UN-HABITAT has considerable experience in working in resettling communities in post-disaster and post-conflict situations. For example, in Kosovo, UN-HABITAT established the Housing and Property Directorate to manage the crisis in housing and property rights within a very complicated social-political context. In Mozambique, UN-HABITAT established a mechanism for resettling victims of the floods while ensuring that they had security of tenure. The critical aim of all these programmes and projects was sustainable development.
“At UN-HABITAT, we participate in immediate shelter needs while working towards sustainable solutions. Resettlement in post-conflict situations is a complex process that requires the long term commitment of all parties. After the headlines, the real work starts,” said Mrs. Tibaijuka.