In 2006, a group of families in Nairobi came together to form a community mutual help group – MWAMKO. Their dream was to build their own homes away from the Korogocho slum. Today, they have made significant progress with the help of their partners: Commonwealth Housing Trust (CHT), Commonwealth Housing Group and Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Plenty of time and effort have already gone into the preparation stage of The Korogocho Project. Now, CHT is raising funds for the construction itself.

The project

The current self-build project is for 25 dwellings, each with their own clean water and electricity, located in a safe environment away from the Korogocho slum. Each house has three bedrooms, along with a bathroom, WC, kitchen and living room. In addition, each stands on its own plot where families can grow food and perhaps keep chickens.

Korogocho slum is home to around 200,000 people living in 1.5 square kilometres adjacent to Nairobi’s huge municipal dump, which spreads over thirty acres. MWAMKO’s members aim to escape the pollution and crime of the slum and instead provide their families with a clean and safe environment.

As a self-build project, the families themselves are active participants. When the project started most of the young people had no skills or jobs. Now twenty five of them have received grant-funded construction training and they will be part of the building team. Other MWAMKO members will also be involved, performing unskilled tasks. All of this will take place under appropriate and qualified supervision and often alongside professional builders.

“We have

-the land
-house designs and layout
-planning permission
-young people taught building skills
-work on water supply and sewerage infrastructure already started
-and we have a community of some 160 people in need, from 26 families, who also contribute their own efforts, abilities and resources to the project

Now we need to raise the funds to start building homes for them to live in!”

Commonwealth Housing Trust

About Commonwealth Housing Trust

CHT was established in 2004 by the late Clifford Dann. The charity’s aim is to provide financial and material assistance for self-build housing projects for people in any of the Commonwealth countries. It has minimal overheads and administration costs, and depends on donations, grants and sponsorship.

Jonathan Harris is Patron of Commonwealth Housing Trust.