International Housing Conference in Kisumu

International Housing Conference in Kisumu

Kisumu is hosting the International Housing Conference in two phases as from October 5 and 6 under the theme, ”Access To And Secure Land Tenure- A Key Pillar For Adequate And Affordable Housing”. The virtual event will attract about 400 participants locally and around the world. The second phase will be held between October 18 and 19 at Kisumu’s Grand Swiss Hotel.

This will bring together 100 participants who will include high-level government officials, selected distinguished local experts and housing stakeholders. The conference organized every two years, is seeking to promote sustained, stronger engagement, commitment and support of the national and county governments on land reforms, moratorium on evictions and implementation of affordable housing.

The conference is hosted by the Kisumu Urban Governance Caucus with focus will be on the low-income category of society. It is organized in partnership with Amnesty International, Grass Roots Trust, Transparency International, Pamoja Trust and Kenya Land Alliance. This will contribute to the progressive realization of the right to access secure land and affordable housing for sustainable development.

The Caucus intends to accelerate the processes of implementation of the resolutions of the first housing conference held in 2019. Conference Coordinator Lawrence Kapiyo said, “the conference will enhance, promote local, national, regional and global networking and cooperation that mobilize and exchange ideas.”

“This will be a platform for gaining knowledge, expertise technology and financial resources to promote the achievement of equal access to land, adequate and affordable housing, especially for women, people living with disabilities informal settlement dwellers, minorities and indigenous communities,” he said.

According to program director at Community Empowerment and Media Initiative Mr Benard Okebe, “Presentations on eviction cases affecting indigenous people, those resulting from urban regeneration or upgrade programs, infrastructure development that has displaced traders and vulnerable urban settlements will feature.”

Kisumu is in the process of implementing affordable housing. County Governor Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o pledged to avail 10,000 units. The conference which will see representatives from the judiciary and the national assembly take part virtually will be opened by Kisumu governor.

“Kisumu will be hosting Afri -ties Summit. It must be ready even in terms of housing,” Elizabeth Duya, the regional officer – Transparency International. As we scale up housing program, we must ensure implementation is done with Sanitation and waste management in mind. Local and international investors have expressed interest by writing to the county in a bid to be Public-Private Partners in the projects.

The start of the project saw massive relocation of the residents with those affected being compensated about Sh96,000 per household to pave way for the project. Upon completion of the houses, the initial inhabitants will be given priority. Information available points out that county government employees as well as the retirees, will be given priority of occupancy upon project completion.