Diversification of Livelihoods in Urban Informal Settlements in Nairobi, Kenya

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International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) | Volume V, Issue II, February 2021 | ISSN 2454–6186

Diversification of Livelihoods in Urban Informal Settlements in Nairobi, Kenya

 Stellah Mong’ina Masese
Kenyatta University, Kenya

IJRISS Call for paper

Abstract: Sustainability of Communities in informal settlements who live in vulnerabilities can be addressed by tapping into the asset bases they have. This in turn is helpful when there is diversification of their livelihoods activities. Diversification of livelihoods is often influenced by many factors, which include but not limited to, seasonality, finance and credit markets, labour market, risk strategies, coping behaviour/adaptation and asset strategies. This paper discusses the influence of financial assets on the diversification of livelihoods in the informal settlements of Nairobi. It is based on a study carried out in Mukuru slums in Nairobi City County which used a cross-sectional study design and was based on a sample of 397 heads of households. It was found out that; men were the majority among the sampled respondents, in which self-employment was the main source of income for the households. As part of securing the livelihoods, challenges were faced while trying to meet the basic needs of monetary income. To address these challenges they relied on different credit sources such as from friends, family and groups. Through these sources they are able to secure their basic needs and also engage in other varied livelihood activities. In order to diversify the livelihoods of slum households there is need to develop and strengthen the different available credit sources and thereby secure a sustainable livelihood for the dwellers of informal settlements.

Key words: livelihoods, financial assets, slum, diversification and households


The sustainable development goals (SGD’s) aimed at improving different livelihood assets which it will in turn, improve and increase the diversification levels of the said livelihoods assets, both developed and developing countries are coming up with different ways of achieving diversification of livelihoods and improving the livelihood outcomes of individuals and households. SDG goal number one, “ending of poverty and all its forms everywhere by 2030” calls for poverty levels in both developing and developed countries to be reduced. Similarly goal number eight is based on “Promoting sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all”. This can be achieved through building resilience among the poor and vulnerable people/ households, to reduce their exposure to vulnerability and different shocks from social, economic or environmental changes that they experience as they seek to fulfil their livelihood needs.