About Us

Pamoja Trust is a non-profit organization that seeks to promote access to land, shelter and basic services for the urban poor. It owes its origins to the need for institutional support for the anti-evictions movement that arose and grew in Kenya in late 1990s and early 2000. The Trust collaborates closely with Muungano wa Wanavijiji, a federation of over 30,000 households living in 400 informal settlements across the country, helping to form daily saving groups through which poor communities can access crucial resources.

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Our Vision

An equitable and democratic society where urban citizens have adequate space

Our Mission

Pamoja Trust exists to facilitate and advocate for processes and approaches aimed at strengthening people’s organization formations to ensure better livelihoods for the urban poor.

Our Objectives

  • Strengthen the capacity of Muungano groups to create and consolidate inclusive and democratic structures of governance;
  • Consolidate Pamoja Trust’s strategic partnerships to effectively and directly advocate for security of tenure and deliver adequate housing to its targeted areas;
  • Network with other actors in re-shaping the public discourse and influencing policy formulation and implementation on land, housing, basic services and livelihoods in favour of the urban poor;

Where We Work


Kibarani informal settlement is located Changamwe constituency, Mikindani ward in Birikani sub location. The area covers approximately 23 hectares. The settlement has a long history. It was established in the early 1930s. In 1939 the people were evicted by the colonial government to use the site as a shooting area. After independence people started resettling there. But in 1974 they were evicted by the Kenyatta government. Under the Moi government the people were returned back to that place in 1982. Today’s name of the settlement relates to the use of the area as shooting range during colonial times.

Mnazi Moja

Mnazi Mmoja is a young informal settlement in Nyali ward in Mombasa district in Mombasa County.  The settlement is densely populated and covers approximately 10.2 acres. It lies on land that is owned by the government.  The residents have experienced several threats of eviction from private developers.
During colonial era, the settlement was part of a huge sisal farm owned by a settler called Green Wood-Nyali. After he left the country, the land reverted to the government but remained undeveloped. As from the 1970s people started settling there. Especially an eviction from the current Harambee Estate area made many people move there. Later the settlement got today’s name meaning “lone coconut tree” in Swahili. Though residents are divided over how the settlement got this name, most residents agree that the name is related to a huge coconut tree which once decorated the area. It is said that an old man lived near this tree and those going to visit him would say they are going kwa mnazi.


Nyalenda is one of the largest informal settlements in Kisumu. As a residential area it dates back to the 1880s. Initially it had been a sparsely populated rural area next to the city. But with arrival of the Kenya Uganda Railway line to Kisumu and since the British were evicting local population from the city boundaries, more and more people moved into Nyalenda.
As offering affordable housing, the settlement has become a popular destination for low-income residents of Kisumu. Nyalenda runs parallel to Ring road, southeast of the Central Business District. The Nairobi road borders Nyalenda to the north and a marshland forms the border in the southwest. The settlement is further divided into Nyalenda A and Nyalenda B. Nyalenda B includes the clusters Western B, Kilo, Dunga, Got Owak, Nanga.The settlement does not have any formal planning as result of the freehold tenure system. The majority of houses are of semi permanent nature.


Manyatta is the second largest informal settlement in Kisumu. The name of the settlement derives from the Maasai word manyatta referring to the housing style of the Maasai: Originally, the area had been a cattle grazing land for the Maasai community. When the nomadic Maasai left the area, Luo and Nandi people came and settled there. The Nandi also migrated further, so that the area remained predominantly inhabited by the Luo.

Today, Manyatta is a cosmopolitan settlement with various communities, though the Luo still form the majority. The land tenure system in the settlement is majorly free hold and ancestral whereby individuals either bought land or inherited it. Steadily land ownership has been changing by people from outside the region investing in residential and commercial buildings.  However, this has created a problem of “double sale” by unscrupulous property owners resulting in land disputes. There have been no cases of evictions by any government agency until 2010 when Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) earmarked a bypass along Kondele cluster to construct a highway. This bypass road affected the Kondele market which had been a central place for the Manyatta community.

Athi River

Athi River is situated in Mavoko Municipality of Machakos County. Within Athi River, there are thirteen informal settlements namely; Jam City, Old Town, Kasoito, City Cotton, KMC, Jua Kali, Bondeni A and B, Alfa Rama, Kisumu Ndogo, Kwa Were, Kyelenzi and 39.

According to residents, some of these settlements have been in existence for as long as 30 years. These settlements are situated on Mavoko Municipality land, with the only exception being Bawazir, which is located on privately owned land. The thirteen settlements occupy an area covering approximately 10 hectares.

Athi River region, was able to purchase 16 Ha (40 acres of land at Kenani opposite Daystar University for residential development for 384 members. Currently, subdivision is ongoing and planning for amenities has been done. The members are in the process of paying the NEMA fee to facilitate issuance of the certificate of subdivision.

Mathare Valley is located about 3 kilometres from the Central Business District, along Juja Road. The settlement occupies an area of approximately 73.7 hectares. It is made up of smaller settlements including 3B, 3C, 4B, Kosovo, Mabatini, Mashimoni, Village 2, Kiamutisya and Gitathuru.

Before independence, Asians owned the area presently known as Mathare. When Emergency was declared in 1952, this area was believed to harbour a Mau Mau core, and the settlement’s 150 huts were mowed down two years later. There was a notable surge in  population between 1959-63. This caught the government's eye and one of the first acts of Kenya’s independent Government was to try to clear this area.

In 1968, 102 families relocated from Eastleigh Section VII to make way for the Pumwani resettlement scheme, although only 24 families had been given plots. In June 1969, a larger number of people moved to there  after the City Council burned down part of Kaburini squatter settlement. In 1970, the population more than doubled due to construction of 7,628 room-units by residents’ land-purchasing companies. These companies were originally planned on a co-operative basis and had attempted to include each household head in the squatter village as a shareholder.
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