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People-Driven Urban Planning

MSPARC Mathare Special Planning Area Research Collective

We are a group of locally-led organizations committed to ensuring the realization of a Mathare with quality basic services and the provisions stated in Article 43 of the Constitution.


Our goal in pursuing a Mathare Special Planning Area, is also to ensure the accessibility of quality publicly owned and sustained collective infrastructures. Informing these objectives is our desire to ensure that rights are dispersed equally in Nairobi, and we realize local and global targets, such as the Sustainable Development Goals, for all. With the majority of the members of the Mathare Special Planning Area Research Collective also born and raised in Mathare, this is a project for “home.”


We want a Mathare Special Planning Area to ensure that safety and dignity is delivered and upheld for all residents. For us this means adequate differently-abled, secure, clean and reliable 1) water and sanitation facilities, accompanied by quality 2) education and work, health, habitable environment, and 3) youth and women guided infrastructure accessible to all. These conditions will create a community that is more united to end all forms of violence and in consistency with SDG 11; ensure better, inclusive, resilient and sustainable livelihood opportunities.

MSPARC urgent COVID19 recommendations

Out of 434 Mathare respondents of a Muungano wa Wanavijiji COVID-19 response survey conducted in early April 2020, 54% said they were taking personal measures to protect themselves; 43% were involved in organizations supporting others in their community, and a minority said that they had seen necessary actions being conducted by the National government, 17%, or the County Government, 14%.


Related, with 69% of respondents taking it upon themselves to create awareness and 24% engaging in the distribution of essentials such as soap and sanitiser, we can make out the huge role that community groups and individuals are playing in protecting their communities against COVID-19.


This is a role that surpasses that of the government – both National and County Governments. At the same time, since 38% of respondents said they still do not have adequate information about COVID- 19, and 56% said they lack adequate water while the vast majority, 89%, said they do not have basic needs (food, rent etc.,) to adhere to the protection measures, it is imperative that the governments, both National and County, play their part in supporting the Mathare community (and other poor areas) in their local COVID-19 response efforts.


Based on these documented experiences of the past few weeks, we urge the government of Kenya to take up the following recommendations to make the COVID19 response in informal settlements effective, safe and dignified for all.

Read the recommendation in letter in full by clicking on the PDF icon.

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