World Bank approves US$150mn for Kenya’s 1.7mn urban residents

world bank kenya urbanThe World Bank has approved US$150mn International Development Association (IDA) credit to improve tenure security and access to basic services for 1.7mn residents living in selected Kenya’s urban informal settlements

The second phase of the Kenya Informal Settlements Improvement Project (KISIP2) will improve the living conditions of informal settlements and its residents through titling to enhance tenure security; infrastructure upgrading for basic services (roads, drainage, water, sanitation, street lighting, community facilities) and livelihoods support and community engagement to assess and address risks, including the impacts of COVID-19. 

“Rapid urbanisation and an increasing share of the poor living in urban areas has outpaced services and infrastructure provision, and this project will contribute to reducing this infrastructure and services gap,” said Camille Lampart Nuamah, World Bank operations manager and acting country director for Kenya

Upgraded infrastructure under the KISIP2 is set to improve access to basic services, such as clean and safe water; mobility within the informal settlements; access for emergency vehicles; and the resilience of communities in instances of disasters. In addition, it will increase the connectivity of residents to socio-economic opportunities while the high-mast lights will enhance economic activities by reducing crime.

Regularisation of tenure will enhance the tenure security of residents in informal settlements, with great benefits such as increased property values, access to credit for the titleholders, increased tax revenues for the local administration and access to urban infrastructure services. 

The project’s special focus on socio-economic inclusion will help counter the immediate economic impact of COVID-19 by urgently linking vulnerable people of informal settlements to government programmes aimed at reducing poverty and vulnerability.

Sheila Kamunyori, World Bank senior urban specialist and task team leader, added, “The World Bank is keen to continue supporting the government’s effort to the ongoing Kazi Mtaani programme in the subsequent phases to reach up to 200,000 youth across all 47 counties.” 

The project will be implemented through institutional arrangements at the national level and county level. Criteria to determine eligible settlements have been developed to ensure that the project has maximum impact for the targeted beneficiaries. Counties with eligible settlements will be expected to demonstrate readiness to implement the project.

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