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Urban Agriculture in Kibera, Nairobi

The potential of urban agriculture in informal settlements such as Kibera (located in Nairobi, Kenya) is inhibited by the challenges and problems within such contexts. Challenges such as lack of space, lack of arable land and high population densities have not allowed urban agriculture to flourish as a pre-eminent means of providing food to the urban poor. The main motivation of this research project is to investigate what the most feasible form(s) of urban agriculture could be for communities in the Kibera informal settlement. In turn, this research will help local residents to implement an urban agriculture component in Kounkuey Design Initiative’s fifth Kibera Public Space Project (KPSP05). Kounkuey Design Initiative (KDI), in partnership with their community partner at KPSP05 (Empowerment for the Community Foundation), and Wulthungerhilfe embarked on a research project to investigate what this farming method could be and how it could be implemented.

The research involved investigating the range of farming methods used to cultivate crops in Kibera, understanding the local food market in Kibera (specifically in the Gatwekera village), whilst exploring other potential markets (schools with feeding programs) for the community partner to tap into and generate income. The research also involved investigating various approaches to growing food in the Nairobi Metropolitan Region that could be imported into the informal settlement to address the challenges that constrict urban agriculture in the area. The study culminated in a small pilot project that was designed to provide further guidance towards the development of a proposal for a complete, community-scale agricultural project with KDI’s community partner, Empowerment for the Community Foundation (EMCOF).

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