No matter the political noise trying to overshadow the Affordable Housing Programme, Government is committed to make it successful for the betterment of the future generations.
Speaking during the second session of United Nations Habitat Assembly adjourning later today at the UN Headquarters Gigiri in Nairobi, Lands, Public Works, Housing and Urban Development Cabinet Secretary Zachariah Njeru urged Kenyans not to listen to the political noise but instead support the Government to achieve the noble course.
Njeru noted the time to act is now because Kenya’s rapid urbanization of 4.2 percent each year, has not been matched by a similar pace in the development of urban housing and infrastructure.
“We cannot burry our heads in the sand, as the CS in charge of this programme, I am assuring Kenyans and the world that a few years from now, Kenya will be a success story in how to implement affordable housing schemes just like Singapore is at the moment,” said Njeru.
Njeru called upon his counterparts from other African Countries to give urban areas the attention they deserves for their growth has escalated global warming through rapid consumption of fossil fuels.
He noted that, the Urban poor have a low level of resilience in the face of climate stresses that has disrupted their livelihoods.
The CS said that Kenya is implementing Building Climate Resilience for the Urban poor project as the number of vulnerable urban areas is rising in the country.
Kenya has been urbanizing rapidly resulting in an alarming backlog of about 2 million houses which are unaffordable and unavailable as Kenya’s estimated annual urban housing demand is 250,000 units against an annual urban supply of 50,000 which mostly targets high end market.
Njeru said the Government also plans to increase the number of Kenyans with mortgages to more than a million up from the current mark of less than 30,000.
Over the week, Njeru also held a series of talks with his counterparts from South Africa, Egypt, Malaysia, Tanzania, Malawi, Qatar, Venezuela,Cameroon, Colombia, Ethiopia and United Arab Emirates.
The Ministers committed to work together with Kenya towards housing and urbanization matters, slum upgrading as well as land digitization.
Speaking Friday during the bilateral talks, Cameroon Minister for Housing and Urban Development Celestine Ketcha-Courtes echoed CS Njeru saying everyone has a responsibility to participate in what will be celebrated in future.
“What we plant today is what our grand children will harvest. Let us collaborate and exchange ideas for the sake of tomorrow,” said Ketcha.
The five days Assembly was opened by President William Ruto who reiterated the importance of financing in the agenda of economic transformation, climate change sustainable development.
Other leaders who attended the Session include Executive Director of UN-Habitat Assembly Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Cabinet Secretaries Simon Chelugui and Peninnah Malonza among others.
Njerus’ counterparts who attended the event include Angeline Mabula(Tanzania), Deus Gumba (Malawi), Catalina Velasco(Colombia), Fenta Dejen Wudu (Ethiopia) and Ms Mmamoloko Kubayi(South Africa).
Others present during the talks were Ambassador of the State of Qatar Jabor Al Dosari represented the Qatar Minister and the General Secretary for United Cities and Local Governments(UCLG) Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi.