Planning for Sustainable Water Supply and Sanitation Services Infrastructure at the Suburbs: A Case study of Ngundu Informal Settlements in Nairobi, Kenya.

 

Various researches have documented attempts at improving service provision and infrastructure in urban areas. Despite these researches, rapid urban growth coupled with inability of local and central government to provide them has resulted to undesirable urban environments and suffering of urban dwellers in informal settlements.

The government of Kenya and the Nairobi City Council in an attempt to solve the problem of shortage of housing in Nairobi introduced special subdivision approvals in the 1980s which (allowed land buying cooperatives and self help groups at the suburbs to subdivide land without [providing for basic services. While the special approvals were expected to enable residents 'acquire title deeds and eventually develop their plots, to date most of the residents at the suburbs have the share-certificates which are not recognised by the government, the Nairobi city Council or the financial institutions.

The main objective of the study is to identify the existing water supply and sanitation infrastructure sendees (WSS) in Ngundu area of Nairobi city and to assess the factors that underlie their poor state/inadequacy with a view of recommending/evolving a sustainable socio-spatial framework in Ngundu area.

The research has examined the current Water Supply and Sanitation situation in Ngundu area via a preliminary mapping of water points and other existing land uses by use of the Global Positioning System (GPS) technique alongside with base maps containing parcel numbers which was developed from the Survey of Kenya Registry Maps (RIM) and survey plans. The mapping of land uses in each plot was used to develop the sampling frame based on various house typologies. The total number of housing typologies was found to be 1051 in the entire area. Stratified sampling based on the housing typologies was done for the two clusters that form Ngundu area (Drumvalle Farm Side and Ngundu Farm side). In the sampling Design, it was found adequate to consider 10 percent of the total household. Therefore a household questionnaire was administered to 108 households in the area.

The study has established that the land tenure is largely informal with most residents having share-certificates. In addition, it has also been established that most residents have never acquired title to land and those with titles are informally subdividing their plots resulting to more share certificates. It has also been established that the stakeholders are not organised to provide and attract the necessary funding, technical support and other resources needed to improve the Water Supply and Sanitation situation. As a result, the residents depend on their own individual efforts to access water and provide sanitation services. Hence the myriad of challenges and environmental woes associated with their WSS infrastructure approach.

The study further reveals that Ngundu area has no piped water reticulation system or a sewer system despite being within Nairobi city. Residents mostly depend on shallow wells, a few boreholes and water from vendors. The study further indicates that the main form of human waste disposal is ordinary pit latrine and septic tanks.

The study concludes, that a weak institutional and policy frame work, lack of full security of land tenure, poor land use planning , lack of development control and lack of financing are the main factors that hinder WSS provision in Ngundu. The study recommends extension of existing NWSC water pipeline and development of a trunk sewer system in Ngundu area within a community participatory based framework.

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