Nairobi, 24 July 2018 - Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure, Housing, Urban Development and Public Works Hon. James Macharia and Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director, UN-Habitat Mme. Maimunah Mohd Sharif have jointly launched the UN-Habitat Country Programme Document for Kenya 2018-2021 in Nairobi.
Thanking sector stakeholders involved in formulation of the Kenya HCPD 2018-2021 among them government departments, civil society, academia, private sector organizations, Non-Government Organizations, and the Council of Governors Housing Secretary Mr. Patrick Bucha emphasized that preparation of the Kenya HCPD 2018-2021 which started in 2016 following expiry of the previous HCPD had been consultative and harnessed the views of all stakeholders.
Noting that Kenya was the first country to produce a Popular Version of the New Urban Agenda immediately after the 2016 Habitat III Declaration, Mme. Maimunah Mohd Sharif stressed the importance of the HCPD 2018-2021 as a tool for implementing the New Urban Agenda. “It is important to note that the launch of a Popular Version of the New Urban Agenda by Kenya demonstrates Kenya’s commitment to sustainable urbanization. UN-Habitat will work hand in hand with the Government and key stakeholders to implement this Framework. We thank the Government for the support we received in February 2016 that allowed us to roll out aspects of the New Urban Agenda which have informed the development of the HCPD and laid a good foundation for our future collaboration,” said Mme. Sharif.
Reaffirming UN-Habitat’s commitment to supporting H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta’s ‘Big Four Agenda’ by contributing to developing affordable housing, Mme. Sharif noted that UN-Habitat’s normative work continues to form critical reference material for the Programme Implementation Unit (PIU). The Sustainable Building Design for Tropical Climates, Principles and Applications for the Design of Sustainable Buildings in Eastern Africa has been used as a guide for housing typology designs in recently announced requests for expression of interest. Mme. Sharif reaffirmed UN-Habitat’s commitment to strengthening collaboration with all sector stakeholder in Kenya. “It is my hope that Implementation of the New Urban Agenda in Kenya will benefit from the partnerships envisaged under the HCPD,” she said.
“I am also open to discussions on effective utilization of the 55-acre piece of land in Mavoko meant for affordable and low-cost housing programmes. UN-Habitat is available to provide strategic and technical advice to Government particularly on aspects that lower the cost of housing, increase access to finance for housing and meet the housing needs of the most vulnerable,” said Mme. Sharif.
In his keynote speech Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure, Housing, Urban Development and Public Works Hon. James Macharia observed that rapid population growth and emerging urbanization trends have constrained existing services and infrastructural development particularly in our cities and towns, causing acute shortage of decent housing and resulting in the growth of slums and informal settlements.
“The theme of this country programme document is enhancing effective service delivery and sustainable urban development at national and county levels which is timely given the exponential population growth and the rapid rate of urbanization being experienced in Kenya today,” said Hon. Macharia. “This forum brings together a number of state and non-state actors in the urban and human settlements. It provides a platform for stakeholders to familiarize themselves with this document that presents a guideline on the Ministry’s’ direction in ensuring sustainable human settlements and cities with the support of UN-Habitat and other actors,” he added.
Through various partnerships, the Government will continue to provide a conducive environment to achieve the housing agenda including review and harmonization of various laws, regulations and policies that hamper the delivery of housing, streamlining land registration and titling and creating a one stop building approval process. The Government has also instituted a programme on Integrated urban planning and development of urban areas through the Kenya Urban Support Programme in collaboration with the World Bank. This programme which will be implemented in all the Counties will support secondary cities to put up infrastructure and services to mitigate on rapid urbanization and provide requisite infrastructure for housing and other social amenities.
“Given the above efforts and the launch of this document, I wish to call upon all stakeholders to familiarize themselves with the document and embrace it alongside other relevant documents as well as ongoing Government initiatives with an aim of ensuring we attain sustainable cities and human settlements for all, for a brighter future. I wish to urge all partners to consolidate their efforts and enhance collaboration to ensure that we together tap into the opportunities posed by urbanization to bring about social and economic transformation, and not poverty and squalor as has been the case in the past,” concluded Hon. Macharia.
The UN-Habitat Country Programme Document for Kenya 2018-2021 focuses on six Strategic Action Directions. These are: improved land management and sustainably planned settlements; improved access to quality urban basic services and infrastructure; improved access to quality and affordable housing and sustainable slum upgrading and prevention; innovation in improving urban economy and finance; improved urban governance and resilience; improved capacity development and sensitization.
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UN-Habitat works in over 90 countries supporting people in cities and human settlements for a better urban future. The agency has been focusing on urban development for over 40 years. Working with governments and local partners, its high impact projects combine world-class expertise and local knowledge to deliver timely and targeted solutions. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development includes a dedicated goal on cities, SDG 11 – to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. Under the New Urban Agenda, there is a clearly defined and renewed dedication among the global development community to ensure our cities expand in a sustainable way.