Community Managed Funds as a community development tool for informal settlements in Mtwapa Kenya

Community Managed Funds as a community development tool for informal settlements in Mtwapa Kenya

Launched in 2008, the Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme (PSUP) is a joint effort of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States, the European Commission (EC) and UN-Habitat. To date, the programme has reached out to 35 ACP countries and 160 cities, and has provided the necessary enabling framework for improving the lives of at least 2 million slum dwellers. PSUP has been supporting informal settlements through in-situ slum upgrading efforts along the 5 slum deprivations: lack of access to adequate water supply; lack of access to improved sanitation; lack of durable housing; lack of security of tenure; and the lack of sufficient living space. The programme acknowledges that the participation of local communities in the development and implementation of local projects is essential for sustainable city-wide slum upgrading. By involving the community, you encourage residents to exercise their right to participate in the planning and shaping of their living environment, which then acts as an empowerment mechanism, making them become aware of their situation while providing them with tools to better their own lives.

Community Managed Funds (CMF)

PSUP introduced the Community Managed Funds (CMF) Tool whereby 10% of the overall funds are given to the community to stimulate local community-led projects, as research and experience suggest that development projects have a better outcome if the community is involved at each phase. The CMF tool therefore is being implemented in PSUP Phase 3 countries and targets not only projects related to the 5 slum deprivations but also seeks improvement in their livelihoods and stimulates local economic development. So far the tool has supported over 40 Community Managed Funds projects in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Kenya, Malawi, Ghana, Senegal, Niger, Democratic Republic Congo, and Mozambique, which have directly benefitted 520,700 people. Furthermore 20 slum Village Resident Committees (VRCs)/Community Development Committees (CDCs) were formed to evaluate project proposals.                                                                                                Mapping of the zones. Photo: @mypsup

Highlights – CMF in Mtwapa, Kenya

Under the PSUP, the Kenya country team has facilitated the engagement of local residents of Majengo and Mzambarauni settlements in the planning, design, and execution of various community development projects. Funds were given to 7 Community Based Organizations (CBO’s) who sought improvements in solid waste collection and management; the local water selling point; and the provision of alternative building materials through sustainable brick making.

Brick Making Project, Interlocking Stabilized Soil Blocks (ISSBS):

Select participants from the informal settlements of Majengo  underwent training to produce ISSBS, as part of a project from the Majengo PSUP Resident Committee to provide the community with affordable alternative building materials. Uses of the blocks have been in the construction and renovation of the community centre and toilets. The projects sustainability is ensured by selling the bricks at subsidized rates to the community

Some of the participants being trained on ISSB making in Mtwapa, Kenya. Photo @PSUP

Solid Waste Management:

Proposals were submitted by 3 groups, Makika CBO, Maamuzi Women Group, and Mwandoma CBO, detailing their approach to managing solid waste generated by an area covering 100-150 dwellings within Majengo settlement. Funds were distributed by the country teams who purchased the necessary tools and equipment while the remaining money would be redirected to the groups’ bank accounts.

One of the youth groups involved in solid waste management as part of the Mtwapa PSUP CMF.  Photo @Julius Mwelu


Water Point Rehabilitation Project

 The Mungu Pamoja Nasi CBO is a group comprised of widows who sought to rehabilitate the water point in Majengo settlement. The pre-existing water point had a rundown tank, which was meant to serve residents in the community. With the aide of PSUP CMF the group was able to purchase two more storage tanks, and construct an underground tank, as well as purchase hand carts and empty water containers to ease water access throughout the community. The upgrades made to the water point have increased sales, and profits will be used for future expansion.

Handover of tools for the Majengo women group. Photo @Julius Mwelu

Expansion of CMF

The above mentioned projects highlight successful and on-going cases whereby informal communities have directly been involved and simultaneously benefited from locally initiated development projects. Currently there are plans to expand the PSUP method to more informal settlements in Mwapa, as well as to other informal settlements in current and upcoming PSUP Phase 3 countries.