We are currently implementing two projects in Kisumu County on the Right to Housing and Promoting Public Participation of the urban Poor in Public Finance and Planning Processes at the Counties. Through the projects we aim to strengthen the capacity of social movements to engage effectively in county budget processes and oversight role which will ensure they access their Economic and Social Rights as well as to ensure the right to housing is realized by the urban poor.
After the dissemination of our report State of Housing in Kenya Kisumu Informal Settlements Network (KISNET) being a network of informal settlements rights defenders organized for a meeting with duty bearers and Hakijamii to discuss the housing challenges faced by Bandani informal settlement. Bandani hosts a population of over 10,000 people and experiences a myriad of challenges including poor housing, interruption of electricity supply, poor sanitation, etc. The residents of Bandani led by KISNET held a forum whose theme was “Keja Poa, Ombi Letu”.
During rainy seasons, the houses which are generally mud-walled in nature are washed away leaving poor occupants in agony. In addition, pit latrines cannot stand the weak soil and underground water hence collapse within a short time after construction. This leaves the community with only one crude option to carelessly manage the sewerage products. Bandani has no direct road network connecting it to the Kisumu – Busia Road. There are no sustainable water supply services as nearly all KIWASCO pipes busted during road construction. During rainy seasons, residents rely on rain harvesting from highly rusted corrugated iron sheets. Bandani is a designated flight path for Kenya Airports Authority. Some of the Aircrafts fly so low that they interfere with the electricity cables, at times causing perennial blackouts. To make progress, Bandani residents convened the meeting and invited the Kenya Airports Authority, County Director of Housing, County Commissioner and several Civil Society Organizations so as to discuss the issues and find a solution to the challenges.