Efficiency of Local Resource Mobilization in the Implementation of Socio-Economic Programmes by Local Churches in Kibra, Nairobi, Kenya

Njagi Nancy Wanjiku, Irungu Charity, Koome Peter


Poverty is a human phenomenal that society continually ponders about and has been in existence since time in memorial. Governments and international organizations have developed strategies towards poverty reduction.  Churches through their social welfare departments have not been left behind in seeking appropriate ways of addressing the socio-economic struggles that members within their community face.  This journal article focuses on one of the largest impoverished slums in Nairobi, Kenya; Kibra slum.  The reported census population of Kibra has always been contentious but the stories of the residents and the living conditions within the settlement clearly depict the struggles experienced.  Kibra is home to unemployed and underemployed residents who struggle to put food on their tables every day.  Majority of whom are tenants with months of rent arrears because paying rent is not a priority.  They live in one-roomed houses with little organization for sewage and toilet facilities.  A single toilet and bathroom are shared by several families at a fee that is not inclusive of their rent.  In response to these and other challenges such as education and health care, local churches in the slum have set up socio-action programmes.  This article stems from my research work among Kibra residents, and documents the findings that respond to the effectiveness of local church programmes to utilize local resource mobilization in poverty reduction among residents.  The researcher uses a mixed methods research approach.  Drawing from the research findings, socio-economic programmes run by the church have a high dependency on external finding and are not taking advantage of the human capital within the slum community.  Residents also exhibit high levels of dependency on the church or the pastor running the programme.  There are however programmes that are set up by the residents such as savings groups or a youth centre encountered in the research that do not rely on any external support.  The youth and members of the savings groups contribute their resources to run their programmes.  Their local resource mobilization efforts enhance their participation and ability to make decisions and take responsibility of these decisions.  Dependency on external support and hand-outs have crippled residents of Kibra slum however on the other hand, it is possible for residents to identify a project that meets their needs and run it successfully with their own resources.

Keywords: Local Resource Mobilization, Churches, Slums, Poverty

DOI: 10.7176/JPID/61-07

Publication date: November 30th 2022

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