World Bank forced to hire 50 slum dwellers

World Bank officials were forced to hire 50 people after locals threatened to stop a slum upgrading project over alleged discrimination.

Those hired were from Manyatta Arab Community who claimed managers of the project had denied them jobs.

Efforts by a team led by the Kenya Informal Settlements Improvement Project (Kisip) to carry on with the project hit a snag after locals demanded to be included.

Earlier, there had been fears that investors had come to buy prime land belonging to the community at a throw-away price and relocate them.

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However, calm returned after World Bank officials explained the project was meant to improve socio-economic lives of people living in slums across the country. 

It took Kisip and bank officials the whole day to convince them that Manyatta is among slums in 15 major towns to be upgraded at a cost of Sh14 billion.

Manyatta Kisip chairman Yusuf Mohammed said the matter had been cleared up and that the project would go on.

"We initially thought private investors had come to grab our land. I think this was because the bank's lead consultant who toured this area is an Asian," said Mohammed.

"Introduction of the project had been received negatively but we have reached a consensus to allow the household surveys go on," said a resident, Saddah Salim.

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Salim and Mohammed who were picked as local community's leaders urged residents to cooperate with the enumerators during the surveys and the entire project.

Kisip coordinator Dorothy Achieng, who is overseeing the project, said the surveys will also help in future planning of Kisumu City.

World Bankslum upgrading projectManyatta Arab Community