Impacts Of Urban Agriculture On Physical Infrastructure In The Informal Settlements Case Study Of Kibera, Nairobi
Urban Agriculture has been viewed as a sound coping strategy in the face of dwindling food security, economic upheavals, civil strife and unprecedented population growth within many urban centers in the world. The state of unemployment, need for recreation and desire for engaging in farming activities in itself for self esteem are some of the reasons fronted for rising in UA among the urban residents, though in different setting and by different socio-economical groups. For the poor urban residents, food security is the main driver to farming as it is taken as coping strategy not only for food security but also for economic empowerment through selling of surplus. Among the urban poor vulnerable households urban agriculture is a livelihood coping mechanism (IFRA 2011: 31). One of the key demerits associated with urban agriculture is the huge pressure exerted on the physical infrastructural resources within the urban areas. This is despite the enormous challenges facing the Government in provision of funds for repair and maintenance of crucial infrastructural services. It is also notable that due to failure of the infrastructure, the housing environment is degraded, filth, and has effect on the level of self esteem of the tenants. The study used stratified random sampling to collect the data. It focused on the 10 villages that make up the study area. A total of 40 respondents (Farmers) were issued with a questionnaire while 4 policy makers in the field of agriculture, provincial administration, urban planning and NGO were interviewed during data collection. The researcher also traversed the study area observing and noting the characters of the farms and their influence on the infrastructural services. Photography were taken during the data collection and were later used for analysis. Data for this study was analyzed using the Ms excel and word. Charts, figures and tables were used for data presentation and analysis. The study has indicated that UA has 92.5% impact on the physical infrastructures in the informal settlements; however such impacts were categorized within scale of severe, moderate and negligible. The study also recommends further studies which could not be sufficiently covered by the research.