Lobby groups call for regularization of informal settlements

informal settlements Haki Yetu Organisation lands and housing officer John Paul Obonyo at a past function. Image (Courtesy)

A section of activists in Mombasa county have called on the county government to regularize informal settlements saying it forms a bigger percentage of housing within the county.

The activists point out that there are over 72 informal settlements in the county adding that the county should not take the matter for granted.

Haki Yetu Organisation Lands and governance officer John Paul Obonyo said there is a need for the county to sensitize locals on land and housing matters.

“The county should ensure residents are fully involved in the process of planning. All informal settlements should be regularized,” said Obonyo.

Nyanje Luganje, a Kenya National Commission on Human Rights lawyer says housing is a basic human right as stipulated in the constitution.

He added that the right to adequate housing entails among others accessibility for special groups such as people with disability and victims of natural disasters.

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“The constitution gives Kenyans an opportunity to ensure Kenyans access information. The law is binding and housing is a basic right for all Kenyans,”

At the same time, Mombasa County planning Officer Richard Manyala said the county recently officialised the Mombasa county lands formalization and regularization committee.

He said the role of the committee involves identifying and replacing the informal settlements within the county.

Said Mr. Manyala “Most of the plots in Nyali Sub County are under leasehold. Kenyans should engage the services of a legal professional before undertaking any land issue,”

Tunaweza women with disability executive director Charity Chahasi wants the government to ensure housing being part of the big four agenda takes into account the rights of persons with disability.

Chahasi wondered why some of the public utilities have not taken into account the rights of PWD’s.

“We still have some of the public utilities that are still not disability-friendly. This is too sad. We cannot talk of living in the 21st century when our rights are still a dream,” said Chahasi.

She asked the government to prioritize erecting houses for persons with disabilities adding “housing is a basic right as enshrined in the 2010 constitution,”

About the Author

Peter Kombe
Peter Kombe is a Mombasa based Journalist with an eye for the unique untold human interest stories. Hobbies Reading, travelling and meeting new friends.

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