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Wednesday, 20 February 2013 10:59

Nyalenda A, Kisumu

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Nyalenda is one of the largest informal settlements in Kisumu. As a residential area it dates back to the 1880s. Initially it had been a sparsely populated rural area next to the city. But with arrival of the Kenya Uganda Railway line to Kisumu and since the British were evicting local population from the city boundaries, more and more people moved into Nyalenda.

As offering affordable housing, the settlement has become a popular destination for low-income residents of Kisumu. Nyalenda runs parallel to Ring road, southeast of the Central Business District. The Nairobi road borders Nyalenda to the north and a marshland forms the border in the southwest. The settlement is further divided into Nyalenda A and Nyalenda B. Nyalenda A includes the four clusters Central, Dago, Kanyakwar and Western A. The settlement does not have any formal planning as result of the freehold tenure system. The majority of houses are of semi permanent nature.

The data presented is based on a community-led enumeration and mapping exercise conducted in September 2011. The exercise included defining the boundaries of Nyalenda A, numbering all structures, administering a household questionnaire and conducting focus group discussions (FGDs). In total, 3747 structures were enumerated and 3531 households could be interviewed. The following information is drawn from this sample:

  • 71% of the household heads are male and the sole bread winners.
  • The majority (64%) of households are rent paying tenants.
  • Approximately half (54%) of the land owners inherited ancestral land from the parents. In the majority of cases, the land has been passed from one generation to the next without proper transfer of documents.
  • 84% of the examined structures were built without approval of the City Council of Kisumu. According to the FGDs, submission of construction plans to the Municipal Council is often avoided because of the high costs and bureaucracy involved in the process of approval. Further, several of the houses were built before the city expanded to Nyalenda. After the settlement became part of the city, the owners did not search for approvals in retrospect.
  • The majority (54%) of the households access water through water points/kiosks at KES 3 to 5 per 20 liter jerry can. 24% use shared yard taps and 17% get water from natural sources. Only 3% have a private connection inside the house and 2% buy water from door to door water vendors. 
  • Only 19% of the households are connected to electricity.
  • The primary sources of energy for cooking include charcoal (35.5%), firewood (33%) and kerosene (26.5%).
  • The settlement does not have a sewer line.
  • 91% of the households have a toilet inside the house or within the plot. The majority of households use pit latrines.
  • Only 5% of the households have a private bathroom inside the house. The majority of households share bathrooms with the neighbours, use basins inside the house or bath in the open.
  • The two major ways of solid waste disposal are dumping (54%) and burning (41%).
  • Waste water disposal is mainly disposed on open ground (83%).
  • Nyalenda A is accessible from two main roads, the Kisumu Nairobi Highway and Ring Road. However, the internal road network is not well developed and many parts inside the settlement are only passable by pedestrians, motorcycles and tuk-tuks.
  • There is only one public health facility at Kowino Market. The majority of residents receive health care from hospitals outside the settlement.
  • Nyalenda A has three public primary schools but no secondary school.
  • 18% of the respondents are members of Self Help Groups.
  • The three development priorities are:
    • Water (25%)
    • Health (19%)
    • Electricity (17%)
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