Volume 12 Issue 4
Dec.  2021
Turn off MathJax
Article Contents
Rónán McDermott, Pat Gibbons, Dalmas Ochieng, Charles Owuor Olungah, Desire Mpanje. Does Tenure Security Reduce Disaster Risk? A Comparative Study of the Nairobi Settlements of Kibera and Kawangware[J]. International Journal of Disaster Risk Science, 2021, 12(4): 445-457. doi: 10.1007/s13753-021-00346-6
Citation: Rónán McDermott, Pat Gibbons, Dalmas Ochieng, Charles Owuor Olungah, Desire Mpanje. Does Tenure Security Reduce Disaster Risk? A Comparative Study of the Nairobi Settlements of Kibera and Kawangware[J]. International Journal of Disaster Risk Science, 2021, 12(4): 445-457. doi: 10.1007/s13753-021-00346-6

Does Tenure Security Reduce Disaster Risk? A Comparative Study of the Nairobi Settlements of Kibera and Kawangware

doi: 10.1007/s13753-021-00346-6

The authors would like to thank the study participants. This article has been written as part of the Preparedness and Resilience to address Urban Vulnerabilities (PRUV) project (http://pruv.ucd.ie). The project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement no. 691060. We would also like to acknowledge the input of community mobilizers in both localities. Research assistance was provided by Brenda Nanjala Mukungu, Ronnie Okoth Midigo, Balentine Ochieng Oingo, Mercy Mbithe Musyoka, Joan Khakali Kadamu, and Paul Opondo Omondi. Concern Worldwide, a member of the PRUV consortium, provided the survey data. The paper benefitted from the input of anonymous reviewers.

  • Available Online: 2021-12-25
  • Publish Date: 2021-12-25
  • While scholarship suggests that improving tenure security and housing significantly reduces disaster risk at the household level within urban settings, this assertion has not been adequately tested. Tenure security can be conceived as being composed of three interrelated and overlapping forms: tenure security as determined by legal systems; de facto tenure security; and tenure security as perceived by residents. This article traces the relationship between tenure security, the quality of housing, and disaster risk on the basis of a mixed methods comparative case study of the settlements of Kawangware and Kibera in Nairobi. Although the findings suggest that owner-occupancy is associated with the structural integrity of dwellings to a greater extent than tenantship, no association was found between the length of occupancy by households and the structural integrity of the dwelling. Moreover, tenantship is not found to be closely associated with fires and flooding affecting the dwelling as extant scholarship would suggest. Formal ownership is linked with greater investment and upgrading of property with significant implications for disaster risk. Our findings highlight the complex relationship between tenure security and disaster risk in urban informal settlements and provide impetus for further investigation.
  • loading
  • Adelekan, I., C. Johnson, M. Manda, D. Matyas, B. Mburu, S. Parnell, M. Pelling, D. Satterthwaite, and J. Vivekananda. 2015. Disaster risk and its reduction: An agenda for urban Africa. International Development Planning Review 37(1): 33–43.
    Aldrich, D., and M. Meyer. 2015. Social capital and community resilience. American Behavioral Scientist 59(2): 254–269.
    Ayonga, J. 2019. Exclusion, contradiction and ambiguity in planning laws and the proliferation of urban informality in Kenya. Africa Habitat Review 13(1): 1661–1674.
    Amoako, C., and D.K.B. Inkoom. 2018. The production of flood vulnerability in Accra, Ghana: Re-thinking flooding and informal urbanisation. Urban Studies 55(13): 2903–2922.
    Anyamba, T. 2011. Informal urbanism in Nairobi’s built environment. Built Environment Journal 37(1): 57–77.
    Brasselle, A.S., F. Gaspart, and J.P. Platteau. 2002. Land tenure security and investment incentives: Puzzling evidence from Burkina Faso. Journal of Development Economics 67(2): 373–418.
    Bryman, A. 2016. Social research methods. Oxford, UK: OUP.
    Burby, R.J., L.J. Steinberg, and V. Basolo. 2003. The tenure trap: The vulnerability of renters to joint natural and technological disasters. Urban Affairs Review 39(1): 32–58.
    Caldieron, J. 2013. Land tenure and the self-improvement of two Latin American informal settlements in Puerto Rico and Venezuela. Urban Forum 24(1): 49–64.
    CoHRE (Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions). 2006. Listening to the poor? Housing rights in Nairobi, Kenya. CoHRE-fact finding mission in Kenya. Final report. https://www.humanitarianlibrary.org/sites/default/files/2013/07/COHRE_HousingRightsInKenya.pdf. Accessed 31 Mar 2021.
    Chance, K. 2015. “Where there is fire, there is politics”: Ungovernability and material life in urban South Africa. Cultural Anthropology 30(3): 394–423.
    Choi, N. 2016. Metro Manila through the gentrification lens: Disparities in urban planning and displacement risks. Urban Studies 53(3): 577–592.
    Comerio, M.C., J.D. Landis, and Y. Rofe. 1994. Post-disaster residential rebuilding. Berkeley, CA: University of California at Berkeley, Institute of Urban and Regional Development.
    Concern Worldwide. 2016. Indicator development for the surveillance of urban emergencies – Year five annual research report. https://admin.concern.net/sites/default/files/media/migrated/indicator_development_for_the_surveillance_of_urban_emergencies_-_july_2015.pdf. Accessed 2 Jun 2020.
    Deininger, K., and S. Jin. 2006. Tenure security and land-related investment: Evidence from Ethiopia. European Economic Review 50(5): 1245–1277.
    Doberstein, B., and H. Stager. 2013. Towards guidelines for post-disaster vulnerability reduction in informal settlements. Disasters 37(1): 28–47.
    Doebele, W.A. 1987. The evolution of concepts of urban land tenure in developing countries. Habitat International 11(1): 7–22.
    Durand-Lasserve, A. 2006. Informal settlements and the millennium development goals: Global policy debates on property ownership and security of tenure. Global Urban Development 2(1): 1–15.
    Feder, G., and A. Nishio. 1998. The benefits of land registration and titling: Economic and social perspectives. Land Use Policy 15(1): 25–43.
    Field, E. 2005. Property rights and investment in urban slums. Journal of the European Economic Association 3(2–3): 279–290.
    Flower, B., M. Fortnam, L. Kol, P. Sasin, and R.G. Wood. 2018. Using participatory methods to uncover interacting urban risks: A case study of three informal settlements in Phnom Penh. Cambodia. Environment and Urbanization 30(1): 301–316.
    Fraser, A., H. Leck, S. Parnell, M. Pelling, D. Brown, and S. Lwasa. 2017. Meeting the challenge of risk-sensitive and resilient urban development in sub-Saharan Africa: Directions for future research and practice. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction 26: 106–109.
    Fussell, E., and E. Harris. 2014. Homeownership and housing displacement after Hurricane Katrina among low-income African-American mothers in New Orleans. Social Science Quarterly 95(4): 1086–1100.
    Galiani, S., and E. Schargrodsky. 2010. Property rights for the poor: Effects of land titling. Journal of Public Economics 94(9–10): 700–729.
    van Gelder, J.L. 2009. Legal tenure security, perceived tenure security and housing improvement in Buenos Aires: An attempt towards integration. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 33(1): 126–146.
    van Gelder, J.L. 2010. What tenure security? The case for a tripartite view. Land Use Policy 27(2): 449–456.
    Gilbert, A. 2002. On the mystery of capital and the myths of Hernando de Soto: What difference does legal title make?. International Development Planning Review 24(1): 1–19.
    Huchzermeyer, M. 2008. Slum upgrading in Nairobi within the housing and basic services market: A housing rights concern. Journal of Asian and African Studies 43(1): 19–39.
    Iwata, S., and H. Yamaga. 2008. Rental externality, tenure security, and housing quality. Journal of Housing Economics 17(3): 201–211.
    Joireman, S., and R. Vanderpoel. 2011. In search of order: State systems of property rights enforcement and their failings. In Where there is no government: Enforcing property rights in common law Africa, ed. S.F. Joireman, 129–152. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    Kenya, Government of. Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS). 2019. Kenya population and housing census Volume II. Nairobi: Government Printer. https://africacheck.org/sites/default/files/2019-KPHC-Volume-II_.pdf. Accessed 10 Mar 2020
    Lanjouw, J.O., and P.I. Levy. 2002. Untitled: A study of formal and informalproperty rights in urban Ecuador. The Economic Journal 112(482): 986–1019.
    May, P.J., R.J. Burby, and H. Kunreuther. 1998. Policy design for earthquake hazard mitigation: Lessons from energy conservation, radon reduction, and termite control. Earthquake Spectra 14(4): 629–650.
    Mileti, D. 1999. Disasters by design: A reassessment of natural hazards in the United States. Washington, DC: Joseph Henry Press.
    Mukeku, J. 2018. Urban slum morphology and socio-economic analogies: A case study of Kibera slum, Nairobi. Urbanisation 3(1): 17–32.
    Nakamura, S. 2014. Impact of slum formalization on self-help housing construction: A case of slum notification in India. Urban Studies 51(16): 3420–3444.
    Nakamura, S. 2016. Revealing invisible rules in slums: The nexus between perceived tenure security and housing investment. Habitat International 53: 151–162.
    Oliver-Smith, A., I. Alcántara-Ayala, I. Burton, and A. Lavell. 2016. The social construction of disaster risk: Seeking root causes. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction 22: 469–474.
    Omwoma, R. 2013. Land tenure systems in the slum settlements of Nairobi: Implications for slum upgrading programmes. https://land.igad.int/index.php/documents-1/countries/uganda/gender-7/1239-finalworldbankpaperforpresentation/file. Accessed 19 Mar 2021.
    Paller, J.W. 2019. Building permanence: Fire outbreaks and emergent tenure security in urban Ghana. Africa 89(3): 437–456.
    Pamoja Trust. 2009. Nairobi slum inventory. Environment & Urbanization. https://www.environmentandurbanization.org/nairobi-slum-inventory. Accessed 6 Mar 2020.
    Payne, G. 2001. Urban land tenure policy options: Titles or rights?. Habitat International 25(3): 415–429.
    Payne, G. 2002. Tenure and shelter in urban livelihoods. In Urban livelihoods: A people-centred approach to reducing poverty, ed. C. Rakodi, and T. Lloyd-Jones, 151–164. Abingdon, UK: Routledge.
    Perry, R.W., M.K. Lindell, and K.J. Tierney, eds. 2001. In Facing the unexpected: Disaster preparedness and response in the United States. Washington, DC: Joseph Henry Press.
    Razzaz, O.M. 1993. Examining property rights and investment in informal settlements: The case of Jordan. Land Economics 69(4): 341.
    Reale, A., and J. Handmer. 2011. Land tenure, disasters and vulnerability. Disasters 35(1): 160–182.
    Sarmiento, J.P., Sandoval, V. and Jerath, M. 2020. The influence of land tenure and dwelling occupancy on disaster risk reduction: The case of eight informal settlements in six Latin American and Caribbean countries.Progress in Disaster Science 5: Article 100054.
    Seawright, J., and J. Gerring. 2008. Case selection techniques in case study research: A menu of qualitative and quantitative options. Political Research Quarterly 61(2): 294–308.
    Selmeczi, A. 2009. “… we are being left to burn because we do not count”: Biopolitics, abandonment, and resistance. Global Society 23(4): 519–538.
    Southall, R. 2005. The Ndungu report: Land and graft in Kenya. Review of African Political Economy 32(103): 142–151.
    Syagga, P., Mitullah, W. and S. Karirah-Gitau, S. (2002). Nairobi situation analysis supplementary study: A rapid economic appraisal of rents in slums and informal settlements. Report prepared for the Government of Kenya and United Nations Human Settlements Programme. Nairobi: Institute of Development Studies, University of Nairobi.
    Varley, A. 1987. The relationship between tenure legalization and housing improvements: Evidence from Mexico city. Development and Change 18(3): 463–481.
    Varley, A. 2017. Property titles and the urban poor: From informality to displacement?. Planning Theory & Practice 18(3): 385–404.
    Wamsler, C. 2004. Managing urban risk: Perceptions of housing planning as a tool for reducing disaster risk. Global Built Environment 4(2): 11–28.
    Williamson, I.P., S. Enemark, J. Wallace, and A. Rajabifard. 2010. Land administration for sustainable development. Redlands, CA: ESRI Press Academic.
  • 加载中


    通讯作者: 陈斌, bchen63@163.com
    • 1. 

      沈阳化工大学材料科学与工程学院 沈阳 110142

    1. 本站搜索
    2. 百度学术搜索
    3. 万方数据库搜索
    4. CNKI搜索

    Article Metrics

    Article views (363) PDF downloads(0) Cited by()
    Proportional views


    DownLoad:  Full-Size Img  PowerPoint