Upon his re-election in 2017, President Uhuru Kenyatta spelt out what would be his legacy plan – a national development programme he called the Big Four, which is anchored on four pillars which include affordable housing.
As a result, government planning was restructured to prioritise the presidential agenda areas with all agencies of state and government being required to undertake projects aimed at realising the Big Four agenda.
While the narrative and national psyche with regards to affordable housing has focused on provision of infrastructure to support home ownership, one key element of projects related to affordable housing has not had the spotlight as efforts towards the building of 500,000 housing units annually – quality housing for marginalised and vulnerable children.
These efforts are being undertaken by the Children Welfare Society of Kenya, the “statutory responsibility to provide services to all marginalized children across all social sectors in line with Section 56 of the constitution”.
Overall, CWSK programmes are tailored to meet the affirmative action necessary for the children to access welfare services across the country.
“Our aim is to improve the lives of vulnerable children and the affordable housing pillar is at the heart of our work, which is why we have rolled out these projects,” says CWSK boss Irene Mureithi.
In executing it’s obligation and in line with the presidential legacy plan, CWSK is undertaking big housing projects that are aimed at enhancing their capacity to provide housing to children.
The projects are 75% complete in six counties, namely Nairobi, Machakos, Murang’a, Bungoma, Laikipia and Isiolo.
Once complete, the projects will have a capacity of more than 5,000 children, their caregivers and administrators of CWSK programmes.
Ms Mureithi explains that their intention is to ensure they complete similar projects across the country.
“We hope to complete the ongoing projects at Joska, Kanduyi, Isiolo and Nanyuki after which we will launch others,” reveals Ms Mureithi, adding Muranga and Waithaka in Nairobi’s Dagoretti South constituency are also underway.
“We have opted to use expanded polystyrene materials on the recommendation of national housing corporation because the technology is not just affordable but guarantees strong, durable and safe structures.
“The materials we use are easy to transport and install with a design flexibility that I unmatched by the conventional masonry structures.”
Ms Mureithi says her organisation has made huge at in the past few years, gains which they want to build on to ensure as many children as are deserving are catered for.
“Our mandate is to ensure that children do not suffer for whatever reason and as such we are keen on raising awareness on our services so that Kenyans are more enlightened on what we do as a way guaranteeing that no child who should be under our care is out there on their own.”