UN, Kenya to partner to boost urban renewal

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NAIROBI, July 14 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN-Habitat) and Kenya will partner in a project that seeks to improve the urban and environmental performance of Nairobi, the country's capital, officials said Wednesday.

Maimunah Mohd Sharif, executive director of UN-Habitat, told journalists that through the Nairobi River Life Project, the city will have better sanitation, better ground and surface water quality, and improved health and wellbeing among the urban residents.

"The project is a unique opportunity to kick-start citywide regeneration, transform informal settlements, create sustainable jobs and build urban safety and security," Sharif said in Nairobi.

UN-Habitat currently has a portfolio of work with national, local governments and development partners globally to improve quality of life for all in an urbanizing world through people-centered urban transformation approaches and to develop city-wide strategies and planning frameworks.

Sharif observed that the partnership with Kenya will be the first urban regeneration project to be implemented under the UN-Habitat strategic plan on "inclusive, vibrant neighborhoods and communities" and some of the interventions proposed are simple and low-cost projects to build safe pedestrian and cycling tracks.

She added that without sustainable urban environments, the international community cannot achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the New Urban Agenda.

Mamo Boru Mamo, director-general of National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA), said that Kenya's rivers are a critical component of the country's natural resources since they provide the basic livelihood requirements, adding that of particular concern are rivers and sections of rivers that traverse the urban areas with high levels of pollution and depletion of riverine ecosystems. Enditem

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