Providing shelter for the urban poor: a case study of displacement trends in Dandora site and service scheme, Kenya
Shelter problems is common in most areas of both developed and developing Countries. Most urban migrants are faced with a challenge of identifying a suitable and affordable shelter in the midst of stife competition for the limited vacant houses in an urban setting. The search for shelter almost becomes a factor which determines urban peoples lives and a major problem. As the surge to the cities continue, the competition for space is bound to become stiffer, house rents higher and squatter and slum settlements will be more and more. There is therefore need to convince nations to undertake an assessment of their shelter and settlement proposals and priorities as well as draw up strategies, policies and programmes aimed at solving shelter issues for their respective societies. This study attempts to investigate how urban shelter problems have affected the very low income earners who in the past have been considered as beneficiaries of site and service plots. The main approach to the problem resolves around critical analysis of the causes and implications of displacement, examination of the problems experienced by the Dandora Phase 1 allotees with regard to the project location, financing as well as highlighting the efforts so far undertaken towards alleviating shelter problems for the low income earners through Kenya's housing development and policy guidelines . Displacement will be taken to imply the process through which the very low income earners are displaced from their plots by urbanites with higher incomes forcing some of them to live in low quality houses. This problem is a major one in most site and service schemes and has rendered a number of the would be target group for such projects homeless. \hrious forms of data sources were used in the evaluation of the displacement phenomenon. Through observation at the site, details of the project and facilities were covered, while scanning of the available literature provided immense insights concerning the study subject. 5 General aspects of site and service schmes, the Dandora project implementation and its impacts are examined. Observations arising out of formal and informal interviews have been used to explain the implicit process of diaplacement patterns along with the empirical exploration of the effective distinction of the socio-economic characteristics of the Dandora residents. It has consequently been established that those who have replaced the initial allotees at the project are significantly different in terms of family sizes, age and have higher incomes and education level. So far over, half of the original allotee'S have been displaced. From the same data source tentative determinants , patterns and effects of displacement have been derived. The investigation reveals that the identified displacement trends in site and services schemes does not urger positively for the future of such schemes. There is need therefore to establish alternative ways and means of how the process could be minimised in future projects of this nature. It could also be concluded that site and service housing approach has not been very successful, and as such, an alternative shelter policy to cover the urban poor is due so as to control the number of sprawling slums and squatter settlements in Nairobi and in other major towns. The summary of the findings and recommendations finally outlined in Section 1.5 and 5.2 and Chapter emanated from the study observations and are by no means exhaustive. A further study covering certain scopes of site and service schemes would no doubt strengthen the rational issues raised here and consequently facilitate in the formulation of an alternative policy towards implementation of appropriate and affordable quality shelter for urban poor who may not afford conventional housing and have now been voted out of site and service projects formerly meant for them.