Slum electrification; opportunities and challenges in urban poverty reduction the case of Kibera informal settlement, Nairobi-Kenya
Buku, Maria Nyambura
MetadataShow full item record
"Towns and cities are growing today at an unprecedented rate setting the social, political, cultural and environmental trends of the world, both good and bad. Sustainable urbanization is one of the most pressing challenges facing the global community in the ir century. In 1950, one third of the world's people lived in cities. Just 50 years later, this rose to one half and will continue to grow to two thirds by 2050 ...cities are now home to half of mankind. They are the hubs of much national production and consumption - economic and social processes that generate wealth and opportunity. But they also create disease, crime, pollution, poverty and social unrest " UN-HABIT AT; the agency for cities and shelter, 2006 Kibera is the largest slum in Sub-Saharan Africa and a clear example of the slum situation in Kenya. With an estimated population of 600,000 to 700,000 people, the slum is faced with challenges of high population densities (of up to 2000 people/Ha), high poverty levels, poor infrastructure services including over reliance on traditional forms of energy. Land tenure is a key challenge and a major barrier to access clean energy and other infrastructure services. This study focuses on electricity provision in Kibera slum, with key reference to challenges and opportunities it creates for poverty reduction. The study seeks to answer the question of whether the provision of reliable power supply within informal settlements can trigger growth of income generating activities, improve productivity, and in turn result to improved quality. The study established that limited access to electricity in Kibera has been caused by poor planning, hence leaving no way leaves for the infrastructure service. High power connection charges resulting in the ever increasing illegal ~onnections have contributed to high electricity related accidents in the .J . settlement. Consequently", te~yaPower and Lighting/Company - the power utility company - has continued to lose millions in revenue from these illegal connections. Following these findings, the study went further to propose ways of intervention which would lead to a affordable yet sustainable slum electrification program. This can only be feasible through enacting legislations that would oversee reduction of power connection charges and tariffs. With the improved power connection within Kibera slums, improved productivity of the income generating activities and better living environment, free frofu in door air pollution will be guaranteed.