NAIROBI, March 27, 2023
Cabinet Secretary for Lands, Public Works, Housing and Urban Development Zachariah Njeru will tomorrow officially open the meeting of the Executive Board of the UN Habitat at the UN Headquarters in Gigiri, Nairobi.
The CS is expected to speak on the important role UN Habitat is playing in Kenya’s development especially as it relates to housing and urban development. The executive board of UN Habitat is composed of 36 Member States and it functions to provide oversight of the body by its members. The board also guides in ensuring accountability transparency and effectiveness in operations of UN Habitat.
This was discussed yesterday when the UN-HABITAT Executive Director Maimunah Mohamed Sharif led a team from the UN body to meet the CS at his Ardhi House office.
The CS underscored the collaboration between Kenya and the UN Habitat and the important role the organization, which is headquartered in Nairobi, plays in Kenya’s growth.
“The relationship between the UN Habitat and the Government is excellent. UN Habitat has been a key enabler of what we do,” said the CS.
He said the Government was committed to working closely with UN Habitat in formalizing informal settlements and improving the standards in all settlements.
Besides Tuesday’s Executive Board meeting, the CS and the UN Habitat Executive Director also discussed the upcoming UN Habitat Assembly which is scheduled to be held in June.
The assembly, that is expected to attract more than 6000 visitors, is the second of its kind and will be attended by several Heads of State and Governments.
Kenya has already written to eight Heads of State and Governments and some have already expressed commitment to attend the Assembly.
During the summit, the UN Habitat has organized an expo where Kenya will showcase its successes in the housing and urbanization sector.
The UN boss said she was impressed by the operational synergy that has been achieved in Kenya between the National Government and Counties.
“In many countries they have a problem with the relationship between different levels of government but in Kenya it works very well,” she said while reacting to how Counties are collaborating with the National Government in the Affordable Housing Programme.
Ms Maimunah requested Kenya to utilize the expo to showcase the Affordable Housing Programme, through which Government wants to build 200,000 affordable houses, and the Nairobi River Regeneration project.
The CS and Ms Maimunah also discussed how the UN Habitat can support the Government in the ongoing digitization of land records. Another UN body, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), has been supporting the Government in the program to digitize land records and automate services related to land management.
The Chief Administrative Secretary for Housing and Urban Development Victor Munyaka also attended the meeting.
The Executive Director was accompanied by senior UN-HABITAT officials including the heads of the regional offices for Africa and Kenya.