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Building urban flood resilience

Integrating community perspectives into planning in Kibera, Kenya

This project aims to build the resilience of communities in Kibera – the largest informal settlement in Nairobi – to adapt and respond to flooding.

In Nairobi’s slums, home to 1.5 million of the city’s residents, the twin trajectories of rapid urbanisation and increased flooding – driven in part by climate change – collide. Flooding is a recurring problem in Kibera, causing death and destruction annually, eroding the already limited assets of poor households, stalling economic activity, contaminating water supplies, spreading disease and displacing those living along the banks of the Ngong River.

We are helping to create a ‘toolkit’, incorporating local perspectives, that can be used to implement flood risk reduction strategies in Kibera – and ultimately in other informal settlements. Our role in the project is to make sure this toolkit takes account of conflict dynamics in the settlement.

By better integrating local community perspectives into the process, we hope the toolkit will lead to a more effective approach to flood risk management in Kibera, decreasing the conflict and insecurity risks associated with the existing, inefficient flood protection policies. In doing so, we hope people will be better shielded from the worst effects of flooding disasters and more resilient to these effects in the long term.