|dc.description.abstract||The main objective of this study was to systematically investigate the
inherent environmental conditions and the effects of population
density on the environment in the low income settlement of Kibera.
The nature and extent of pollution in the area vis a vis density was
assessed. The guiding premise of the study was that large population
numbers in Kibera has resulted into an increase in the number of
housing structures and therefore resulting to both high population
and housing densities. These two densities through the pursuit of
socio-economic and cultural actuality by the community in question
have contributed to negative effects on the quality of the
environment within the area.
To meet the objectives, an appraisal was done on the number of
persons per household, per acre and number of housing units per
acre, the existing amount of open space available per household for
waste collection, storage, disposal and/or treatment, waste
generation, collection, disposal systems, management Systems, and
the nature and type of existing sewage disposal system and
subsequent problems. Environmental quality was the dependent
variable, while the independent variables were waste generation,
collection, disposal, open space, persons per are/household, housing
units per acre sewage disposal system an drainage system. The
components of environmental quality included, waste treatment, smell
and noise, visual quality of houses and open spaces and streets,
accessibility to water and public utilities, ease of movement, and
general cleanliness of the surrounding.
The study found out that the population of Kibera is one of the fastest
growing among the sub-localities of Nairobi city and it is one of the
spatially highly densified areas of Nairobi, second after Mathare
Valley. Kibera currently has a population of well over 200,000 with a
density of 70,000 per square kilometre. Population density of Kibera
grows at a rate of 10 percent per annum and the population grows at
a rate of 7 percent per annum. The population is predominantly young
and is male oriented. The mean household size was 4. Migration
contributes significantly to the growth of Kibera more than natural
growth. Land in Kibera is government owned. Majority of the houses
belonged to absentee land lords. Land use in Kibera is poorly
coordinated and unplanned. Over 90 percent of land is devoted to
residential use, and there is no land set aside for collective use or as
All the housing units took the form of back to back housing blocks
built with mud, cement, timber and iron sheets and contained between
5 and 20 room units. Distances between blocks varied from 1 feet to 5
feet apart. The houses varied in sizes ranging frorn 64 to 200 square
feet. The structure density was as high as 428 housing units per acre.
The houses were predominantly non-durable types given the
construction technology and materials used. There is a lack of
infra structural services within Kibera. There were no roads apart
from simple paths and corridors. There is no adequate water supply
and sewerage and access to water was very limited.
~ problem of waste disposal emerged as one of the serious
environmental problems. The physical environmental pollution in
Kibera is mostly generated by. different forms of solid waste.
Regarding environmental management, irresponsibility was noted.
There was no organized garbage management system among the
residents and environmental concern was very low. The study
recommends a comprehensive slum upgrading programme for Kibera
which is to include the provision of infrastructure and socially
acceptable housing, adequate access to public utilities and a healthy