Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Slum Clearance: Kibera to Go?

According to the BBC, a slum clearance initiative has started that aims to move all Kibera residents to permanent housing. The BBC has a photo of shacks being demolished and new flats, so it will be interesting to see if the clearance really happens. The initiative is expected to take up to five years.

Such 'clearances' have been started before and have not always been successful. The alternative accommodation provided can be too expensive or in some way unfeasible. It seems odd that the government is so keen to clear Kibera now and in such an apparently humane fashion.

But there are those who claim the land is theirs and are disputing the government decision to demolish shacks. I find it hard to sympathise with the wealthy landowners who have been charging rent for shacks in slums for several decades, but I would feel more comfortable if I heard what the government intends doing with the repossessed lands.

Well, it remains to be seen whether residents of Kibera are being offered something that is truly better. And it remains to be seen whether other slums, ones that are not so big or so well known, are also cleared and the residents provided with decent accommodation. Sphere: Related Content

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