Challenges facing provision and maintenance of infrastructural facilities and services in public owned estates: case study of Makongeni Estate, Nairobi

With increasing Urbanization rate estimated to be 5% in Kenya, together with the institutional inability to plan and implement housing development projects at a rate that is at par with the urbanization rate while at the same time lack of development control in settlements like Umoja2 contribute immensely to densification of the Nairobi urban space. Developers wish to maximize returns from investment and where they can avoid costs on infrastructural developments associated with housing, they will seize this opportunity as the case has been with Umoja2.

The study aims at examining the impacts of densification in Umoja2 estate of Nairobi on Storm water drainage and access roads. The study starts by looking at the planning policies and the initially proposed design of the estate. This is followed by an examination of the extent of redevelopment and makes an assessment of the impacts this has had on infrastructure which in the case dwells with access roads and storm drainage channels.
The study revealed that the estate was well planned with adequate infrastructure such as paved roads, storm drainage channels. The estate was designed in such a way that it could hold high density on a single plot with the condominium type housing having between five to six housing units sharing amenities such as gate, washing area and ablution blocks. The design was meant to use the plot efficiently and provide more housing units which would be occupied by the low income group and more affordable. According to the plan there was to be no further extensions except for the core units where there was room for backward extension but not to be bigger than the main house.
However after collection of data and analysis as well as site visits, it was found out that it is no longer the case, as majority of the housing units have undergone so much densification that they have lost their original architectural structure and worse being the condominiums which have no space for expansion. It has created congestion and put a strain on existing facilities such as water supply and drainage, solid waste. Furthermore the continued constructions in the estate are putting a strain on the access road and dilapidating them further and worsening the situation.

Building materials are left all over and some have blocked roads and storm water drainage
channels causing stagnation of water. The is also dumping illegal dumping of solid waste
especially paper bags which make their way into the storm drainage channels and thus contribute to blockage.

The study recommended that expansion and rehabilitation of the access roads and storm water drainage be carried out, involvement of private sector in provision and maintenance of infrastructure, the City Council to cancel any new request for any building extensions.


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