Planning and management for storm water and sullage in environmentally vulnerable informal low income urban communities
This study was carried out in Daraja Mbili within Kisii municipality and concerns environmental consequences of uncontrolled stormwater and sullage in environmentally vulnerable quasi-legal urban low income settlements. These settlements are more often than not found in environmentally vulnerable area like flood plains or steep slopes. In putting up a new dwelling the urban squatter is constrained by income, inaccessibility to sustainable land and urban planning laws. Thus, most policies of development agencies on urban development operate outside the scope of squatter settlement needs. Severe environmental degradation has accompanied the increasing pressure on such environmentally vulnerable areas, . This situation magnify the vulnerability of -fctve tvrban poor to broad array of environmental problems and natural disasters. In this ■^''Context, there was conclusive evidence derived from the study showing that environmental problems faced by the residents of Daraja Mbili are attributable to three factors; the low socio- economic status of the residents, whose way of life encourage disposal of sullage and stormwater in a way that is harmful to their own health. This has come about in terms of unsanitary disposal methods and lack of environmental health infrastructure like stormwater drains. The second factor was the nature of the topography in the area. The steep slopes have encouraged soil erosion by the stormwater. This comes about due to increased water runoff velocities caused by steep slopes of Nyanchwa hill that have had their vegetation cover reduced over the years. Poor farming methods on Nyanchwa hill resulted to replacing natural vegetation with pasture crops. The pasture crops do not encourage stormwater infiltration.