Habitat for Humanity Kenya
Habitat's work in Kenya
Kenya News and Stories
Habitat homeowner Edith Wangui Karaja and daughters Naomi Wambui, 13, and Belinda Wairimu, 9 months. The family's home is part of a Habitat community which is set atop a hill overlooking lake Naivasha and the surrounding city. The community is the result of a partnership between Habitat Kenya, Panda Flowers company and a self-help group there. Edith is an employee of Panda Flowers.
Teresia Kwambuka Silal with 2 year old daughter Terian and builders. They are internally displaced people (IDP) and have been living in a tent since the 2007/8 election violence destroyed their home in Narok, Kenya. They were among the thousands forced to flee their homes areas as a result of the conflict. Now, they are part of a self-help group of IDP partnering with Habitat Kenya to build houses on land that they purchased.
The housing need in Kenya
Kenya is experiencing an acute shortage of housing for both its rural and urban populations. The problem has been more evident over the past two decades as a result of the country’s depressed economic performance. There is a proliferation of informal settlements due to high demand for housing. There are also related problems such violation of set standards /bylaws in the construction of housing units and increased conflicts between tenants and landlords.
These problems are especially manifest in the low income areas in urban areas. Families live in inadequate, overcrowded homes typically with only one room and no windows. In the rural areas the houses usually have mud walls, cow dung, dirt floors and thatch roofs. Based on the census of average household size of 4 persons, there are about 750,000 and 1,500,000 households in rural and urban areas respectively in need of housing.
Habitat for Humanity in Kenya
HFH Kenya has served 5,076 families in over 100 community groups in nine regions. The organization has served these families by implementing the following activities:
- Building assistance for urban slum dwellers in partnership with the Panda group in Naivasha and Holy bird in Nairobi. These groups have 222 and 2,000 members respectively, who want to build on land that they have bought to enable them to move out of slums.
- Financial education to potential homeowners. This aims at equipping potential house beneficiaries with knowledge and skills on matters of financial management and accountability as they prepare to become homeowners. The financial education course commenced in November 2009 and is a partnership between HFH Kenya and Citi Foundation.
- Runs a microfinance housing program. The program is designed to provide housing loans in three phases in order not to create an excessive debt burden to the beneficiary. The cost of a standard three bed roomed house in rural areas is approximately 180,000 Kenya shillings.
- IDP program after the 2008 violence to build houses for 335 families of those who have been forcibly displaced from their homes in order to recurrent violence. To date HFH Kenya has constructed 190 houses for the displaced families.”
Download Building Connections (537kb .pdf) and learn how you can get involved with Habitat’s Global Village volunteer program to Kenya.
Population excluded from the official banking system: 77 %
Rate of urbanization: 6 % p.a.
Number of Internally Displaced Persons: 630,000 in 2009
When the program started: 1982
Video: HFH Kenya on YouTube
Facebook: Habitat for Humanity Kenya
Housing Solutions: Housing Microfinance, IDP Program, Urban program