In line with the Mid-Term Plans of Kenya’s Vision 2030, UN-Habitat continues to focus on providing support to human settlements and sustainable urbanization priorities of the Government of Kenya within the context of several frameworks including: President Kenyatta’s ‘Big Four Agenda for Transforming Kenya, which focuses on provision of affordable housing; the Implementing Strategy for The New Urban Agenda in Kenya (2016-2036); and the Habitat Country Programme Document for Kenya 2018-2021, a critical tool for mobilizing resources targeting implementation of programmes and projects at the national and county levels. UN-Habitat has been implementing 30 projects in 22 counties in Kenya, since 2013. Out of these, 11 are ongoing, while 19 have been completed.


According to the 2009 official population census, Kenya had 38.6 million people and in 2011, the number was estimated to have risen to 41.07 million people (World Population Review). While only 27 percent of the total population lives in urban areas, the urbanization rate is high (4.3 percent per annum) and projections indicate that more than half of the total population will be living in urban areas by 2050. Already, the rapid population growth has over-stretched existing infrastructure and services, leading to the growth of informal settlements characterized by overcrowding, lack of basic infrastructures such as sewage, safe drinking water, and decent housing, poverty, and inequality, and consequently increased poverty and delinquency.

Urban numbers
Urban Growth Rate (2015-2020): 4.23%
Urban Population (2018): 27%
It is projected that more than half of the total population of Kenya will be living in urban areas by 2025. 
Ms. Alice Moraa - Beneficiary image

“ UN-Habitat has trained me and my group members on basic plastic waste recycling skills. Together with my colleagues, we have obtained reasonable revenue by selling recycled plastic products, such as flower vases and lamp shades, at trade fairs, exhibitions and agricultural shows in various parts of the country.”

Ms. Alice Moraa, Member, Kisii Plastics Youth Group

Leaving no one and no place behind

Hover over or click the icons to learn about UN-Habitat's work on social inclusion here.

The prioritisation of human rights addresses the structural causes of inequalities and discrimination in an integrated manner. Urbanisation can only be sustainable if it is human rights based, and living conditions can only be improved for all if everyone’s human rights are comprehensively promoted and protected. UN-Habitat applies the Human-Rights Based Approach to address inequalities and discrimination, reaching the furthest behind first by placing power relationships in human settlements at the heart of its analysis and action.

Human rights icon

Men and women, boys and girls experience cities in very different ways, and face various challenges and needs that cities have to address. UN-Habitat promotes the stronger commitment of national and local governments as well as other relevant stakeholders to work towards the realization of a world in which men and women are recognized as equal partners in development and enjoy equal human rights so that economically productive, socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable cities and other human settlements can be achieved more rapidly, completely and sustainably.

Gender icon

Youth, children and older persons, especially those in situations of particular risk of marginalization, such as girl child and female-headed households, are often excluded from access to housing, urban basic services, public spaces and infrastructure, and the overall benefits of urbanization. Young women and men have been a key focus of UN-Habitat’s work. The agency has successfully advocated for the role of youth as leaders in sustainable urban development, recognizing the guiding principle of the SDGs of “leaving no one behind,” and the New Urban Agenda vision of cities for all. 

Children icon

Sustainable urban development can only be achieved if persons with disabilities are included meaningfully in decision-making and are able to access their rights. UN-Habitat partners with representative groups and individual rights holders, as well as national and local governments, relevant UN bodies and civil society to maximize impact and to meaningfully ensure that the rights including accessibility and universal design of persons with disabilities are promoted, respected and protected. 

Disability icon

Donors and partners

The success of our work in Kenya is dependent on successful partnerships. Within the United Nations Kenya Country Team (UNCT), UN-Habitat is collaborating with FAO, UNDP, UNOPS & UNCDF in the implementation of the United Nations Joint Programme on Spatial Planning (UNJPSP). Further, UN-Habitat and UNHCR are collaborating in the preparation of the Kalobeyei Advisory Integrated Settlement Plan in Turkana County within the framework of the Kalobeyei Integrated Socio-Economic Development Program (KISEDP) that also includes the national & county governments. Overall, the Kenya Habitat Country Programme Document (HCPD 2018-2021) has been developed and is being implemented through a collaboration involving the national and county governments, Civil Society Urban Development Platform, Kenya Private Sector Alliance, Universities that teach Urban  & Regional Planning and Architecture as well as Kenya Alliance of Residents Association.


Urban and Rural Development & Management Commission, China
United Nations Office for Project Services
UNDP (incl. one UN fund)
Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research
Mandera County Government
Hivos People Unlimited
Hanhyo Life
Grand Korean Leisure Company
County Government of Meru
Community Chest of Korea
Active Learning Solutions Ltd


Jeremiah Ougo
National Programs Officer - Kenya

News and Stories