NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
The UN on Wednesday launched a program to boost
sustainable urbanization in Kenya amid challenges of pollution,
crime and mushrooming informal settlements.
Maimunah Mohd Sharif,
executive director of the UN Human Settlements Programme
(UN-Habitat), said the strategy covering 2018-2021 will be
critical to the realization of urban renewal in Kenya.
The Habitat Country
Programme Document (HCPD 2018-2021) has also been aligned with
the UN Development Assistance Framework for Kenya (UNDAF
Sharif, who is also
the UN under-secretary-general, said the program will provide
guidance on improved land management and sustainable planned
settlements as well as improved access to quality urban basic
services and infrastructure.
UN-Habitat’s knowledge and expertise in policy advice, technical
assistance and collaborative actions will assist Kenya to
immensely achieve its Big Four Agenda on affordable housing,
manufacturing, universal healthcare and food security.
cabinet secretary of the Ministry of Transport and
Infrastructure, said the UN document aims at galvanizing state
and non-state actors towards sustainable human settlements and
effective national urban development and planning.
He noted said the
country program document is timely given the exponential
population growth and the rapid rate of urbanization being
experienced in Kenya.
He noted that
Kenya’s population was estimated to be about 47 million last
year, with projections that it will reach 65 million by the year
The CS added that
the country’s urban population was estimated to be 34 percent in
2017 and is projected to be about 54 percent in 2030.
growth and emerging urbanization trends have constrained
existing services and infrastructural development, particularly
in our cities and towns, causing acute shortage of decent
housing, resulting in the growth of slums and informal
settlements,” Macharia said.
As part of plans to
roll out the affordable housing scheme, Kenya has already
developed a housing delivery model and a financing framework
that envisages private-sector financial and resource
mobilization in the delivery of housing projects, with the
government providing the requisite incentives and facilitation.
In addition, the
country’s national treasury, the World Bank and other
stakeholders intend to operationalize the Kenya Mortgage
Refinancing Mortgage Company (KMRC) to provide medium and
long-term liquidity to mortgage lenders.
Macharia added that
the National Housing Development Fund (NHDF) will provide a
housing aggregator and off-take, with an online housing demand
portal to mitigate developer market risk and boost the supply of
housing units in scale while lowering developer financing cost.