History and theory of urban poverty in Nairobi: the problem of slum development
Van Zwanenberg, R.
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This paper attempts to explain the generation of poverty in Nairobi. The first part is theoretical and considers the validity of the assumption that urban development in Africa has been and will be comparable to urban growth in the West. Parts two and three consist of an empirical study of the Nairobi slums during the colonial era. The paper considers the reasons why people migrated to the city and what problems this caused in terms of housing, health and municipal resources. It also considers the response of the Colonial authorities to the influx, which was partly expressed in terms of segregated urban facilities and the control of population movement. The failure of these policies is demonstrated. The paper concludes that the problem is still unsolved although the administrative responses have changed. The basic problem is of an urban population growth rate too high in relation to available housing, and a level, of wages too low to finance sufficient housing or to meet high rents.