Muungano nguvu yetu (unity is strength): 20 years of the Kenyan federation of slum dwellers
Twenty years ago the grassroots movement Muungano wa Wanavijiji emerged from Nairobi’s many slums to resist evictions by the Kenyan government. It confronted the nexus of politicians, government administrators and the elite to acquire the lands that the slums occupied. In doing so, Muungano challenged antipathetic attitudes about informality. Joining global advocacy around slums, Muungano pushed locally for the recognition of slums as human settlements. And as the space for slums developed Muungano graduated to designing models for upgrading living conditions in the slums.
Throughout this evolution, the Kenyan state has been the single most prominent precipitant for the strategies that Muungano has employed. This paper describes the correlations between a social movement, its civil society partners and the State. It gives an insight into how state and indeed societal attitudes change to achieve more inclusive cities.