EXAMINING LIVEABILITY IN INFORMAL SETTLEMENT: THE CASE OF VIETNAM IN MUKURU KWA NJENGA, NAIROBI

ABSTRACT
Informal settlements are in most cases accompanied by increased non-liveability levels, despite
being homes to majority of the urban population. This planning research project is set out to
examine the liveability of the informal settlements. Vietnam in Mukuru kwa Njenga in Nairobi‟s
Eastlands area was taken as a case study, since it is among some of the oldest informal
settlements and thus might reflect the situation in most informal settlements within the larger
Nairobi county. As such it provides a good avenue for study in terms of showing how the slum
dwellers have tried to solve the issue of Non-Liveability. As objectives, the study sought out: to
find out liveability challenges in Vietnam; to find out factors that affect liveability in Vietnam
slum in Mukuru (Nairobi); to find out the effects of poor liveability conditions; to find out
measurers that have been put in place to improve liveability in Vietnam slum in Mukuru
(Nairobi) and to suggest appropriate planning interventions that can be applied to create liveable
Vietnam neighbourhood.
The literature reviewed showed different theories, concepts and techniques that have been made
available by planners in improving liveability and how they can be applied in different settings.
The literature review also reveals to a large extent the gaps on this subject especially within the
developing countries. After carrying out research, the findings showed that there exists a number
of challengers affecting liveability, such as; inadequate basic and social infrastructure, poor
living environment among others. The study also revealed that the residents have put in place ad
hoc measurers to improve the liveability, such as, use of “ambulances” to exhaust their pit
latrines. They have organized themselves in groups to render themselves services that are not
available to them such as water electricity and security.
Considering the challenges that emerged, a number of approaches of intervention have been
suggested with final identification of the best alternative solution to the challenges. They mainly
include; an infrastructural biased approach, centre biased approach and a balanced biased
approach. Finally, the final approach has been broken down into components that can fully, if
well implemented address the challenges on liveability.

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