Katani Incremental Housing Phase I

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Focus Areas: Housing

Katani Incremental Housing Project is a greenfield housing project. The project was started to cater for individuals who were not able to secure land tenure in Huruma after Kambi Moto, Mahira Ghetto and Gitathuru had been upgraded. This was due to an overspill in the number of beneficiaries.

The project has attracted individuals from Nairobi Eastern informal settlements. The majority of the individuals come from settlements sited on privately owned lands where individuals cannot obtain tenure-security. The project targeted Federation members from these informal settlements for resettlement.

The project aims to construct three hundred and eighty-seven (387) houses. The construction part of the project is divided into two phases; eleven (11) houses were constructed in the first phase, which began in 2013 and were completed in May 2015.

Location: Katani, Nairobi, Kenya


Eleven (11) starter houses have been constructed and seven (7) beneficiaries have occupied some of these houses. The remaining beneficiaries are set to occupy the houses at the end of July. An additional complete unit is used as a resource centre. 

The area in which the project is located did not have access to water services supplied by the Water Company. Therefore, the Federation with the support of SDI, who provided capital funds, dug a borehole, which will be used by the occupants of the houses. A five thousand (5,000) litre tank was set up for storage. The houses do not have electricity because the connection costs are too high. The Federation is exploring the use of solar for lighting purposes only as the beneficiaries await completion of the next phase of housing. Katani area has no sewer line. Therefore, a septic tank has been constructed to cater for the first phase of housing. Due to the type of soil in the area the construction of septic tanks is becoming very costly. The technical team is exploring the feasibility of other options. The team will be visiting Uganda to learn more about how to improve sanitation in their community.

Community capacity:

This project has increased the Federation members' information and finance management, including community procurement capacity


Thirty-four (34%, which is approximately 16,079,737 people in 2015) of Kenya’s total population (n = 47 293 345 in 2015) lives in urban areas. By 2030 this number is projected to reach sixty-three (63%). An estimated seventy-one (71%) of the urban population lives in slums. The informal settlement dwellers in urban cities can rarely secure tenure, particularly where lands are privately owned. For example, in Nakuru there are very few informal settlements on public land. Majority of the plots on which informal settlements are located in Nakuru are owned by individuals who have legal title over the land. As a result over the years the Federation in Kenya has tried alternative housing projects other than the in situ model by starting the greenfield project to establish a new model. The land on which the project is located is not next to better employment opportunities but the area is good for small scale trading because it is an upcoming settlement. The model has become so popular that Federation groups have started buying land through the Akiba Mashinani Trust (AMT) for affordable housing development. The demand is high in Federation groups in major towns like Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru and Kisumu.


The project has greatly impacted slum dwellers throughout the Kenya who are part of the Federation. It has inspired more and more communities to explore Federation organizing strategies for securing their land tenure. This project has impacted the Federation’s methods especially in terms of information and finance management, including community procurement.

The Federation has demonstrated that community labour and innovative construction technologies learned through exchange with other Federations in the SDI network, have been able to cut the unit cost of construction by half (from US$6,250 to US$3,646 per unit).


SDI Contributions:

The capital contribution by SDI for phase one was US$89,359.

Resources Leveraged:

The Federation has managed to negotiate for the reduction of electricity costs by half for the second phase of the project.

Market Generated Returns:

US$81,250 which is the value of land and housing in 2014.

Costs recovered from community:

The money repaid by Federation members is put into a revolving fund managed by the AMT in order to fund projects in the next phase. To date, US$34,198 has been repaid. 

Jane Weru janeweru1@gmail.com +254 20 267 7770 View Website
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Project information updated: 12 November 2015

Project in depth

Detailed Information

Current initiatives for housing upgrading in Kenya are undertaken by Government, Local Authorities, NGOs, CBOS, FBOs and development partners, all working independently of each other or in limited partnerships. This results in limited levels of success and impact for the beneficiaries. Since 2004, through Kenyan Slum Upgrading Programme (KENSUP) and, more recently, the Kenya Informal Settlements Improvement Project (KISIP) the Government has been undertaking slum upgrading projects in several urban areas.
These interventions are however hampered by the absence of a comprehensive policy and legal framework. It is in the light of this that the Government developed a comprehensive Slum Upgrading and Prevention Policy (NSUPP) aimed at addressing the issue of slums in a systematic and preventative manner. There is a slum upgrading policy guideline that has been developed and has gone through the writing stage into a bill. Members of Parliament are yet to pass the bill into law.


As part of the Katani project, eleven (11) starter houses and one (1) complete unit as well as fifty (50) starter houses were to be constructed in the first and second phases of the project, respectively. 

Community capacity:

Strengthen the community savings schemes and Muungano construction company to deliver at least one hundred (100) housing units in the first year of registration.


This aim is to complete the construction of the three hundred and eighty-seven (387) units in this particular project.


The beneficiaries of this project are from the savings groups in five different settlements:  Huruma, Kibera Soweto, Kahawa Soweto, Athi River and Korogocho. These Savings groups have contributed to the project through advocacy and mobilizing more members from neighboring settlements to join the Federation. The budget includes funds to construct fifty (50) units for this particular phase. The total budget costs are Ksh 17,500,000 (appeoximately US$171,351.77 in October 2015).


SDI Contributions:

SDI contribution is US$89,359.20. This contribution was given to the Akiba Mashinai Trust (AMT).

Resources Leveraged:

Katani housing project is a greenfield project, which is located in an area that is not well serviced in terms of water, sanitation and electricity infrastructure. The Federation has managed to advocate for the reduction of power costs by the Kenya power and lighting company known as Kenya Power.Through the negotiations Kenya Power has committed to setting up all the electricity infrastructure at half the quoted price on the site. This is on condition that the Federation constructs at least fifty (50) housing units by the end of 2015.

Costs recovered from community:

The repayments made by Federation members are put in a revolving fund managed by the Akiba Mashinai Trust in order to fund subsequent projects for the next phase. The repayments are at an interest rate of eight percent (8%) for twelve years on a reducing basis. 

Anderson, M. & Mwelu, K. (n.d.). Kenyan Slum Upgrading Programs: KISIP & KENSUP. [Online]. Available: http://healthycities.berkeley.edu/uploads/1/2/6/1/12619988/kenya.pdf
Centre for Urban Research and Innovations. (n.d.). National Slum Upgrading and Prevention Policy: Consultative Workshop. [Online]. Available: http://www.centreforurbaninnovations.com/content/national-slum-upgrading-and-prevention-policy-consultative-workshop
Muungano wa Wanavijiji. (2012). Residents plan to Sue Firms over Slum Land. [Online]. Available: https://muunganosupporttrust.wordpress.com/2012/09/10/residents-plan-to-sue-firms-over-slum-land
Muungano wa Wanavijiji. (n.d.). Muungano Launches Insitu Housing Projects in Thika and Nakuru. [Online]. Available: http://www.mustkenya.or.ke/index.php/muungano-launches-insitu-housing-projects-in-thika-and-nakuru
Republic of Kenya. (2013). Background Document: The National Slum Upgrading and Prevention Policy. Available: http://healthycities.berkeley.edu/uploads/1/2/6/1/12619988/kenya_slum_upgradeprevent_policy_may_2013.pdf
UN-Habitat. (2014). Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme (PSUP). [Online]. Available: http://unhabitat.org/urban-initiatives/initiatives-programmes/participatory-slum-upgrading
World Bank. (n.d.). Kenya Informal Settlements Improvement Project. [Online]. Available: http://www.worldbank.org/projects/P113542/kenya-informal-settlements-improvement-project-kisip?lang=en

Funding Information



Funding type:

Grant funding

Project Budget

Phase II (Proposed) :


Phase I :




Implementing Partners

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Muungano Support Trust (MuST)

Muungano wa Wanavijiji

Akiba Mashinani Trust

Norway Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The Rockefeller Foundation