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Settlement Profiles

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.

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